Project: Research project

Grant Details


DESCRIPTION Despite widespread recognition that scientific knowledge decays exponentially in this era of spectacular discovery, few appreciate the dynamic relationship between knowledge and its mirror image, ignorance. Nevertheless, the history of science and particularly medicine reveals that ignorance (both the unknown and a questioning attitude toward the known) is the true terra incognita of discovery. Phase I will further develop, adapt, and evaluate a K-12 version of the University of Arizona's (UA) internationally recognized "brain on," "hands on" Curriculum on Medical Ignorance (CMI). CMI aims to nurture the spirit of inquiry, inculcate questioning habits of mind, and teach research skills by focusing on QQQ (the 3Qs c.f. 3Rs), namely the "Questions" [content - "things we know we don't know" (active research), "things we don't know we don't know" (future discoveries), and "things we think we know but don't" (false knowledge and error)] about disease and health; "Questioning," the process, skills, and tools of scientific inquiry; and "Questioners," the learners individually and together seeking answers. Through multifaceted multimedia activities arising at the Arizona Health Sciences Center (AHSC) and tailored to school needs, K-12 students/science teachers working with Ph.D. and M.D. scientists, including many from disadvantaged/ethnic minority/indigenous groups, will be exposed to "doing science" in clinical medicine, underlying basic biology, and overlying public health, largely in AHSC's specialized centers of excellence in cardiovascular disease (Sarver Heart Center), cancer (Sydney E.Salmon Comprehensive Cancer Center), genetics/genomics (Steele Memorial Children's Research Center), bone and joint diseases (Arthritis Center), neurosciences, respiratory diseases, and preventive medicine (new College of Public Health). Curricular offerings include closely mentored Summer Institute on Medical Ignorance (SIMI) with full-time laboratory/clinical research, seminars, visiting professors, a Research Forum to present findings, and career advising. The QQQ component will focus on "teaching the thinking and doing of science" and provide a workshop sequence for teachers (on site and teleconferenced) in an abbreviated/concentrated form of the summer CMI/QQQ classroom and curricular transformations accompanied by inservice followup assistance, leadership training, and minigrants to master teachers to make change happen. The Phase II dissemination component will take advantage of the evolving CMI/QQQ collaboration formed by high technology intramural and extramural infrastructure links to Arizona-wide school districts and national professional organizations [such as FASEB and American (Arizona) Medical Association] to enlarge the impact of CMI/QQQ programs, products and people; make remote sites accessible; promote replication and innovation, and empower K-12 student/teacher leaders through showcasing accomplishments and assisting career development. An elaborate formative and summative evaluation system currently in place for CMI/QQQ will be continued and revised according to evaluative results, based on participant questionnaires/portfolios to document short- and long-term outcomes/career pathways/impact; external evaluation by experts, and checklists/timelines to assure that short- and long-term objectives are met and that the target audience of millions has access to high-quality useful cost-effective CMI/QQQ products in a variety of adaptable multimedia formats that can serve as the basis for expansion of the collaboration in cyberspace and for further experimentation and reform in inquiry-based health sciences education.
Effective start/end date9/15/008/31/06


  • National Institutes of Health: $37,800.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $323,411.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $343,106.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $353,399.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $364,000.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $333,113.00


  • Medicine(all)


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