K-12 & Education

It's a competitive world in which science, technology, mathematics and engineering impact our economy, health, societal well-being and policy. Scientists, engineers and educators provide the ideas and knowledge base for U.S. leadership in science and engineering. Learning how people learn, while also supporting the very best ideas and students are also essential goals in today's changing world.

Broadening student's participation in STEM

This video addresses the problem of broadening participation in science, technology, engineering and math by proposing to develop a role-playing video game. Researchers believe their solution holds the potential to address the issue within an ideal age range and over a culturally diverse populace.

The math of shark skin

The rough surface of shark skin helps sharks move faster through the water. Mathematicians have developed an equation for how this roughness translates into less viscosity for a swimming shark.

Researcher shines light on origin of bioluminescence

A scientist has discovered that bioluminescence may not have originated as a means to ward off predators, but instead evolved as a way to survive in harsh climates--at least in one millipede. The finding, based on the discovery of a millipede that hadn't been seen in 50 years, shows that even the seemingly most complex and intricate of traits can be traced in evolution as small steps leading to a complex feature we see today.

Mysteries of the brain: thinking brain

Through neural connections, called synapses, the brain can process and store enormous amounts of information. Neuroscientist Gary Lynch at the University of California-Irvine explains how this incredibly complex communication process allows animals to learn and remember.

Mysteries of the brain: brain-computer interface

Neuroengineer Rajesh Rao of the University of Washington is developing brain-computer interfaces or devices that can monitor and extract brain activity to enable a machine or computer to accomplish tasks, from playing video games to controlling a prosthetic arm.

Mysteries of the brain: perceiving brain

Sabine Kastner, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at Princeton University, is studying how the brain weeds out important information from everyday scenes. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, Kastner is able to peek inside the brain and see what areas are active when a person sees a face, place or object.

Mysteries of the brain: Building a brain

Carlos Aizenman, a neuroscientist at Brown University, is studying the brains of tadpoles to understand how neural circuits develop and absorb information from the surrounding environment.

Mysteries of the brain: brain states and consciousness

Neurobiologist Orie Shafer at the University of Michigan is trying to understand how the brain's cells communicate in order to control sleep patterns. To help solve this mystery, Shafer is teaming up with mathematician Victoria Booth to study a tiny and unlikely specimen: the fruit fly.

Mysteries of the brain: emotional brain

For years, researchers have struggled to understand how emotions are formed and processed by the brain. Now, neuroscientist Kevin LaBar and his graduate students at Duke University are using a virtual reality room to study how the brain reacts to both negative and positive emotions.

Mysteries of the brain: evolving brain

Using amazing new technologies, evolutionary neuroscientist Melina Hale and her graduate students at the University of Chicago are discovering that the basic movements in one tiny fish can teach us big ideas about how the brain's circuitry works.

Mysteries of the brain

For centuries, scientists and engineers have studied the brain and yet, how it works largely remains a mystery. Understanding the brain means knowing the fundamental principles underlying brain structure and function. Explore the mysteries of the brain with investigators who span the spectrum of scientific and engineering disciplines. "Mysteries of the Brain" is produced by NBC Learn in partnership with the National Science Foundation. For more information, please visit: http://www.nsf.gov/brain/.

Episode 12: Bioprinting

In Episode 12, Charlie and Jordan chat about 3-D bioprinting, plugging up leaky graphene and a new approach to learning for the Pre-k crowd called Connect4Learning.

Gigabit-networked microscopy used to create a cross-country learning environment

The University of Southern California is partnering with a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) high school in Chattanooga, Tenn., and using gigabit networks to send high-definition 4K images of microorganisms directly into a biology class. This gives students live access to researchers and microscopic images, observations and knowledge, while also enabling them to manipulate the microscope from 1,800 miles away.