Science Network Links Researchers, Teachers

Third-grade Bogue Sound Elementary School teacher Amy Byrd, with the command to “Go,” begins grabbing red M&M’s candy out of a bowl that recent University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate Joseph Townsend has in his hands. The goal of the game is to understand why cells can only get as big as they are. Cells and M&M’s? What’s the connection? The activity is one of many found on the tables of the SciREN, or Scientific Research and Education Network, Coast event held Feb. 16 at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Continue reading

A Refocus on Disaster Recovery

“In my opinion we are not investing nearly enough on the front end,” said Gavin Smith, professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence. “Government agencies should be planning before disasters occur for how the recovery from them should look.” Continue reading

High-Quality Birth-to-Five Programs Produce a Greater Return on Investment

Professor James Heckman and colleagues have just released The Lifecycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program, the results of a new analysis demonstrating that high-quality birth-to-five programs for disadvantaged children can deliver a 13% per year return on investment—a rate substantially higher than the 7-10% return previously established for preschool programs serving 3 and 4-year-olds. Continue reading

From Health-care Providers, Announcements Do More than Conversations to Improve HPV Vaccination Rates

In an effort to increase uptake of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill evaluated the effectiveness of training health-care providers either to make presumptive announcements about the vaccine or to engage in participatory conversations with families. Study results showed that only the announcement training led to a meaningful increase in vaccine initiation. Continue reading