Today Americans for Medical Progress has announced two recipients for academic year 2010-2011 of the Michael D. Hayre Fellowship in Public Outreach, designed to inspire and motivate the next generation of research advocates. This year, I'm especially wowed by their project.
From the AMP press release:
Two Ph.D. candidates in neuroscience have been selected by Americans for Medical Progress as the 2010-11 Michael D. Hayre Fellows in Public Outreach. Elizabeth Burnett and Scott Dobrin are in the Neuroscience Program at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Both share a passion for science education and advocacy and are leaders of the Wake Forest University Brain Awareness Council.
Their project, Speaking Honestly - Animal Research Education (SHARE), is designed to guide educators in leading classroom discussions on the humane use of animals in research in an engaging and interactive manner. Teachers will be provided with the necessary tools to discuss the subject employing modern instructional approaches.
Most importantly, rather than championing a specific viewpoint, SHARE will lead students to develop their own opinions based on factual information regarding both animal rights and animal welfare points of view. In an effort to reach as many educators as possible, Dobrin and Burnett will present and publish data on the methodology and efficacy of this teaching technique, reporting specifically on changes in opinions, attitudes and overall learning. In addition, they will design a website where lesson plans, video tutorials and the data they have collected can be found, so teachers may create the same educational activity in other classrooms.
I will be watching for that website.
There's more information about the 2010-2011 Fellows, about the Hayre Fellowship program, and about the late Michael D. Hayre, for whom the Fellowship was named, on the AMP website.
My congratulations to Elizabeth Burnett and Scott Dobrin. I'm excited to hear how it goes.