Core Mentors About the Project
In the emerging field of tissue engineering, scientists, engineers, and medical experts are devising new ways to replace or support defective or injured body parts, and developing and manipulating laboratory-grown molecules, cells, tissues, or organs to heal what could not be healed before,. Tissue engineering's impact on medical science has excited the imaginations of media members, science enthusiasts, medical practitioners, and the general public. Since tissue engineering is still a relatively new field, there are many questions: Why is tissue engineering important? Will tissue engineering replace or revolutionize organ transplantation? What else can it help cure or heal? What ethical issues are pertinent to the field? What can we do with tissue engineering now, and what will we be able to do with it in the future?
In order to answer these and similar questions, we are developing "Tissue Engineering for Life." With this project, we will educate young students and the public at large about tissue engineering, how it can help us today and how the field will change medical science in the future. We are developing a number of unique instructional materials for this purpose, many of which are interactive in nature.
The centerpiece of "Tissue Engineering for Life" is an innovative, high-technology planetarium show, to debut in Pittsburgh in 2002 before traveling to other planetaria worldwide.
In addition to the planetarium show, the project's five-year timeline includes development of curriculum materials for use in classrooms, an outreach program for K-12 students, and web-based delivery of educational content for all age groups. The web site and other materials will be updated as new research in the field is reported, broadening the scope of the project beyond what can be presented within the time constraints of the planetarium show.