Project BioEYES: Accessible Student-Driven Science for K–12 Students and Teachers
BioEYES began working directly with teachers, piloting the experiment in classrooms and aligning the experience with content required by local and/or national standards. We have found that building a relationship from the classroom up (i.e., teachers with the approval of their administrators, then multiple grades within a school, and finally a district-wide roll out) enables the program to prove its feasibility, curriculum alignment, and teacher enthusiasm—all required for sustainability. Moreover, K–12 outreach programs are more successful when they engage and leverage the higher education community (e.g., faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students). Taken together, these efforts can then support novel hands-on classroom activities that capture the realities of bench science and align to curriculum goals (see Box 1 for tips on starting a science outreach program like BioEYES).