The James Randi Educational Foundation is pleased to annouce the latest recipients of funding through our Grants for Educators Program. The JREF is proud to provide support for two exciting projects this year, out of many worthwhile applicants.
Funding will be provided to Brian Barnes of the University Louisville to lead a series of student trips to the Waverly Hills Sanitarium in Louisville, KY. The defunct tuberculosis hospital has an international reputation for being haunted by several different manifestations. Barnes is developing a critical thinking rubric for paranormal investigation using The Foundation for Critical Thinking’s framework. The JREF grant will allow him to conduct extensive on-site research and application of his rubric while leading teams of interested students, paranormal researchers, and skeptics of all types. The resulting materials will then be made available to other educators in the JREF's network to implement in their schools.
A grant is also being awarded to David Robinson of Wilson High School in Western New York. Mr. Robinson will be bringing new materials and equipment into his high school earth science classroom to expand his existing curriculum that scientifically examines the claims of astrology. This program has students critically analyzing astrology as a pathway to better understanding the nature of science. He will be working with iPad apps, video resources, and content from the JREF to examine the zodiac and related paranormal and pseudoscientific beliefs while exposing students to the true wonders of the real science behind the stars—Astronomy. The curriculum will then be distributed to other teachers as part of the JREF In The Classroom program.
JREF educator grants help offset the cost of developing or improving critical thinking and scientific skepticism programs in the classroom and beyond, and underwrite pilot programs using the investigation of pseudoscience and the paranormal to teach students about the methods of science. The grants are awarded to teachers, schools, community groups and other institutions. If you are an educator who has an idea you think is worth funding, please contact the JREF at firstname.lastname@example.org.