Penn is leading the way in learning how the mind works.

The University is part of a consortium that received a $10 million grant for five years from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences to establish a 21st Century Center for Cognition and Science Instruction.

Penn's Graduate School of Education will join two other Pennsylvania universities and two non-profits in a partnership with over 200 Pennsylvania middle schools to study how the mind receives, processes, stores and retrieves knowledge and how to improve middle school science curricula.

"The United States could be much stronger in preparing the general population with levels of science knowledge," said Andy Porter, dean of Penn GSE. "It's highly unlikely that the U.S. can continue to produce leading scientists and engineers without providing a stronger science education to our children, particularly in the critical middle-school years."

Penn GSE will design a major intervention study and analyze the results for the consortium, working alongside Penn's Institute for Research in Cognitive Science.

The Center is being developed by Penn, the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center at Temple University, the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center, Research for Better Schools and the 21st Century Partnership for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education.

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