New Online Biology Lessons For Low-Income Students Worldwide

(3BL Media/Justmeans) Science classes provide most teens their sole exposure to biology, and low-income teens depend on this education. Reforming how science is taught can give students the experiences that will most likely captivate them.

Recognizing this - the Amgen Foundation has announced a three-year, $3 million grant to Khan Academy, a not-for-profit to develop new biology lessons. The Amgen Foundation is the exclusive sponsor of Khan Academy's biology content and this partnership will enable the creation of new biology lessons for students and teachers worldwide, particularly those from low-income backgrounds. All the lessons from Khan Academy are available for free.

These new videos, articles and practice exercises for ninth-grade biology through Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) biology will complement existing offerings. AP is a program in the States and Canada run by College Board that allows students to take high school courses that can earn college credit and/or qualify them for more advanced classes when they begin college. In addition, Khan Academy is now the official practice partner for the AP Program and will help create biology content that aligns with AP's challenging academic standards. 

This new funding builds on a 2015 grant partnership, which supported the initial development of Khan Academy's AP and other introductory college-level biology content. The sponsorship allows Khan Academy to produce biology lessons that will enrich the classroom experience for students and teachers everywhere. It will help students master scientific concepts taught in the classroom at their own pace, while allowing teachers to identify gaps in learning and provide tailored instruction.

The Academy has grown its biology offering, with the Amgen Foundation's support - to more than 300 videos, 80 exercise sets and 195 articles, where usage of the biology lessons has increased to more than a million students a month.

According to Amgen Foundation’s survey of American teenagers, students ranked virtual learning and the ability to choose the topics they would like to explore further among their top preferences for learning biology. The research also revealed that teens are aware that their existing biology classrooms aren’t giving them the most engaging experiences. Fortunately, these students have a strong idea of what would absorb them in a biology class and highlighted they would like more hands-on lab experiments, more field trips, projects that relate biology to real life, virtual experiments and having the choice of what topics they would like to explore.

This collaboration between the Amgen Foundation and Khan Academy will enable science students to have better and more engaged learning experiences. The online resources and information will be easy to access, and an important resource for students who just want to learn more!

Photo Credit: Amgen Foundation