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Office of the Director (OD)

Office of Science Education (OSE)

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Dr. David Vannier

The NIH Releases Three New Precollege Teaching Modules on Alcohol, Human Communication, and Sleep

Bethesda, Maryland — The National Institutes of Health, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, is releasing three more curriculum supplements — the latest installments in a popular series shown to promote science achievement for students in grades kindergarten through 12. These state-of-the-art instructional materials reveal science research discoveries on the effects of alcohol, the multisensory process of human communication, and sleep and biological rhythms.

The National Institutes of Health — the Federal focal point for medical research in the U.S. — is distributing these supplements free-of-charge to teachers to promote inquiry-based, interdisciplinary learning and to encourage students' interest in science. A preliminary independent evaluation of the NIH series found that students in classes that incorporated a supplement scored an average of 15 percent higher in science achievement tests compared to those in which the modules were not utilized.

The new curricula (listed below) are aligned with the National Science Education Standards released by the National Academy of Sciences. Each supplement contains a Web-based component.

  • Understanding Alcohol: Investigations into Biology and Behavior, created with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, allows middle school students to learn about the science underlying the effects of alcohol on human biology and behavior.
  • How Your Brain Understands What Your Ear Hears, created with the National Insitute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, enables middle school students to investigate the multisensory process of human communication and understand the fundamentals of sound and how to prevent hearing loss.
  • Sleep, Sleep Disorders, and Biological Rhythms, created with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, encourages high school students to explore the scientific process of sleep, the importance of good sleep hygiene, and the negative consequences of sleep deprivation.

The NIH of Bethesda, MD, produced these modules in cooperation with curriculum developers from Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) of Colorado Springs, CO. A team of top scientists and educators developed the modules, which were field-tested by teachers and students across the country.

For more information on the curriculum supplement series and future annual installments, keep visiting the NIH Office of Science Education Website at http://science.education.nih.gov/supplements.

For more information, contact: Dr. David Vannier, Professional Development Coordinator, OSE, NIH, DHHS
6705 Rockledge DR, RM 700, Bethesda, MD 20892-7984
Tel: 301-496-8741; Fax: 301-402-3034, e-mail: vannier@od.nih.gov.

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