RISE Programs


Rex or “Real Experiments” is a web-based platform that allows high school (biology) students to “conduct” virtual experiments online, interact with real scientists, and use real data generated from published studies.  Students can choose from seven neuroscience and behavior experiments using zebrafish and rats as model systems to study the effects of THC, caffeine, alcohol, and cigarette smoke.  Rex was field-tested in high school biology classrooms;  its impact on student interest in science and the technical features for using it in the classroom have been recently published in the Journal of Formative Design in Learning.  Open access to the publication is found at:  Rex: Development of an Online Experiment Platform for High School Biology

Rex is now available to the public free of charge at rex.duke.edu.

» The Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership (APEP)

A-PEP is a parallel curriculum to PEP (see next item), but devoted to alcohol. This high school program includes a series of modules that presents basic concepts of biology and chemistry in the context of alcohol pharmacology. Funded by a science education award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, high school teachers across the US contributed to development of curriculum activities to accompany APEP. Teachers field-tested APEP in their classrooms (over 13,000 students)–results indicate that students increased achievement in both biology and chemistry. To access the APEP modules, click APEP.


» The Pharmacology Education Partnership (PEP)

PEP is a partnership with Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, and biology and chemistry teachers to produce and share standards-based inquiry teaching materials and activities with high school teachers. The purpose is to provide biology and chemistry teachers with practical applications of basic concepts from both biology and chemistry disciplines using pharmacology topics of interest to high school students. Funded by a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, this curriculum has been tested nationwide in over 15,000 students; results show that students perform better when they use the modules (Publications). To access the PEP modules, click PEP.


» Science Education Enhances Knowledge (SEEK) about Tobacco

Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, we have developed a science education module for use in high school health education classes to address the science behind addiction and development of cancer from tobacco products, whether smoked or smokeless. It can also be used in Biology classes.  Health Ed teachers throughout NC participated in field-testing the module in their classes. Use of the module increased student knowledge about addiction and perceived risk of addiction. To access the SEEK modules, click SEEK


» A Mission to Mars: An Encounter with Radiation

Funded by National Space & Aeronautics Administration, we have developed a science education unit for use in high school biology classes to learn about the effects of cosmic radiation on human biology. The unit incorporates chemistry and physics into the biology. To access “A Mission to Mars”, click Mission to Mars