BrainWaves is a Next Generation Science Standards-aligned neuroscience curriculum that allows high school students to develop and test original research questions related to how their brain helps them learn and form new memories. This article discusses the benefits and challenges associated with conducting authentic research in the high school biology classroom. This program was found to strengthen students’ content knowledge and self-efficacy in research, particularly among female and minority students who are often underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Such positive student outcomes may be emulated in similarly designed curricula that prioritize student-centered anchoring phenomena and authentic research. The BrainWaves curriculum is available at

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