My name is Curtis Neveu, a neuroscience researcher at UTHealth. I created www.LearnBio.org because I love making digital drawings and I wanted to use my talents to help kids learn. It became my passion when I noticed my kids absolutely loved the games and online coloring books I was placing on the website. I then noticed that most science or STEM websites for kids are very outdated or are browsers for learning content that kids would never use and parents would rarely download. The internet needs a STEM website specifically designed for kids that is immediately fun and easy to use without any effort from the parents. We need a fun biology website for kids because we need passionate kids aspiring to be in science-related careers. We also need kids who, as adults, will understand scientific findings to make informed decisions about their lives and society. Most importantly, this website needs to be free because no kid should not have to pay for access to learning.
My website is fun for kids, from the welcome screen to the learning-based games. It features two different virtual microscopes where kids operate a microscope that looks and works like a real scientific microscope, and the kids can examine real neurons! Interactive diagrams that enunciate the words, an online coloring book, and so much more for the kids to learn.
LearnBio needs to be well-built and with endless information and content. So, to serve its purpose, LearnBio needs a full-time web developer supported by grants. Most grants require the organization to be an official non-profit by the IRS. The application fee for a non-profit is estimated at $850, with many other expenses.
The kids who can benefit the most from LearnBio are those in underserved communities. Without a concerted effort to reach low-income communities, LearnBio will contribute to rather than alleviate disparities and marginalization of children from low-income families. 95% of kids in the USA have access to the internet, indicating a website can reach a large portion of kids in underserved communities when combined with outreach efforts. As a person raised by a middle-income family that is not a part of a minority, I have experienced many privileges that I am grateful for. My hope and dream for LearnBio are to give advantages I’ve experienced to kids who might not otherwise have any.
LearnBio will work to reestablish trust in the scientific community that famous personalities and unethical scientific practices against racial minorities have horribly degraded. As a result, kids, teenagers, and eventually adults have grown to misunderstand and even mistrust science. LearnBio is geared to teach kids real scientific facts, and make them fascinated with science and how it operates. LearnBio features virtual microscopes because I want kids of all races to know what it feels like to be a scientist. This might inspire kids to change the narrative and make science serve the communities that need it the most.
Immediate goals: Make LearnBio a nonprofit organization and continue uploading new content related to all topics of biology. I have so many ideas! And, I keep getting new ideas every day. I want to add short (1 min) videos of actual biological scientists describing what they do at a level the kids can understand. I will prioritize seeking out Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and women scientists. Kids must see scientists of their race and ethnicity to imagine themselves in that occupation. Short-term goals: Pay for and move to an internet server so kids can log in and track their learning progress. Ensure the content includes information that the kids will be tested on in public schools. Apply for grants provided I have raised enough money to make LearnBio a nonprofit. If LearnBio is a nonprofit and is awarded enough grants, I will hire a web developer and someone to assist in administrative tasks like scheduling outreach events, fundraisers, etc. These positions will be vital for the website to serve the community impactfully. Long-term goals: Create a mobile app to increase access to the learning material. Studies show that kids of parents with low income have more cell phone usage than those of wealthier families. So, a mobile app would help in reaching disadvantaged kids. I would also like to establish a free tutoring program for kids whose parents have difficulty affording tutoring services. Possibly a volunteer system or a system where LearnBio sponsors these kids for them to use a paid tutoring service. I want all kids to have everything they need to succeed academically.
LearnBio serves kids of all backgrounds and ethnicities by providing learning-oriented games that let them experience science in a fun, accessible, and engaging way.