This summer, the CORE Lab has begun an exciting new project with the Center for Translational Science Education at Tufts Medical School. The team at the CTSE  strives to mitigate the knowledge gap between science researchers and teachers who are educating high school students in science topics. Their Great Diseases project seeks to accomplish this by encouraging collaboration between teachers and researchers in curriculum design, evaluation, and development of the project. CTSE has designed a curriculum to teach high school students about biology and science literacy through the lens of “great diseases” including infectious diseases, metabolic diseases, neurological diseases, and cancer. The hope is that teaching students about broader biological topics while learning about these diseases, will encourage students to think more deeply about science and recognize its applications in everyday life. In order to evaluate the success of the project, the Great Diseases team give students a pre-test and post-test before and after the Great Disease curriculum was taught.

In our collaboration with CTSE, we are interested in evaluating how the Great Diseases curriculum impacts students’ intuitive thinking about biology as well as their learning of scientific biological concepts. These past few weeks, CORE Lab research assistants have been diligently organizing and transcribing these pre and post tests so that we can soon move on to coding and analysis. We think this work will help us understand how intuitive thinking may help as well as hinder teaching and learning about biology. Stay tuned for updates on this project!


Dr. Revati Masilamani of CTSE and intrepid CORE lab researchers Kelly Marchese and Lujane Barakat work on preparing the data set for coding and analysis.