Agile Mind Biology

  • 17 web-based, interactive units for high school biology that can be used with any curriculum materials for both teachers and students
  • Designed to empower teachers to implement best practices in inquiry science teaching
  • Funding source: Noyce Foundation/University of Wisconsin SCALE project
  • Additional funding to extend and study the work—in particular, enhancements for English Language Learners—provided by Carnegie Corporation of New York

BSCS collaborated with Agile Mind and the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas to develop Agile Mind Biology. This service helps teachers support students to develop an understanding of the concepts that are essential to high school biology. Animations, simulations, and visualizations are used to help students develop these conceptual understanding. Teachers also have opportunities to have students explore landmark experiments, processes, and other ideas that are not easily seen in a high school classroom. Each topic also includes a variety of assessment items, pedagogical support, and language strategies. Through funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, many topics include additional support for English Language Learners.

Our long-term goal was to provide large numbers of educators in underserved areas with exemplary tools and services that support research-based teaching practices in high school biology. To accomplish this goal, we set the following strategic objectives:

  • Broaden student access to college preparatory experiences in biology;
  • Foster high achievement in introductory biology;
  • Use technology to enhance the quality of teachers’ experiences; and
  • Provide an empirical basis for the program.

The team used formative data to improve the embedded standards-centered visualizations, academic language supports, formative assessments, and professional support materials for teachers.

While keeping all learners in mind, we targeted strategies to support English Language Learners, special needs learners, and those traditionally under-represented in science careers.

For more information, contact BSCS Science Educator Brooke Bourdélat-Parks.