Teacher Professional Development

At the heart of Project CRESST is a teacher-developed inquiry-based curriculum focused on student research literacy, knowledge and skills while actively engaging learners in the clinical research process. Project CRESST curricular materials encourage secondary students to apply the research process in the context of healthy lifestyles and general wellness. This curriculum includes lessons and videos related to:

  • the inquiry process
  • research literacy – gathering, synthesizing, and evaluating information
  • measurement and statistics
  • ethical issues in clinical research 

From 2011 to 2015, 93 teachers from 64 schools throughout Virginia attended the CRESST Professional Development Academy. This academy included intensive one-week summer workshops, where teachers interacted with VCU scientists and study participants involved in relevant research. They continued their journey through the fall semester by guiding their students in innovative research projects and sharing their experiences with academy colleagues.


Project CRESST continues to provide innovative professional development through CRESST Online. Building on the highly successful CRESST Academy, CRESST Online is an online professional development designed to allow middle and high school life science, biology, and health/physical education teachers the flexibility to participate in CRESST “anytime, anywhere.”