NIH SCIENCE EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP AWARDS

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ASSET: Advancing Secondary Science Education with Tetrahymena

Grant Website

https://tetrahymenaasset.vet.cornell.edu/

Project Description

This project will develop and disseminate high school laboratory exercises that will stimulate hands-on, inquiry-based learning of fundamental biological concepts and foster critical thinking about the role of basic research in society.

The exercises will target schools serving rural and other underrepresented youth, and will feature Tetrahymena thermophila, a safe, easily grown single-cell organism. Teaching modules will be made available through the NCRR-funded Tetrahymena Stock Center at Cornell University. Along with hands-on exercises, a cross-platform module suitable for high school social studies, civics, and biology courses will be developed to address the relationship between basic science, biotechnology, and society, using Tetrahymena as a focal point.

The Stock Center will partner with the Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers and teachers in New York's southern tier to prepare, test and evaluate the modules. An external evaluator will be involved at all steps from development to dissemination of the modules. A dedicated website will encourage communication among geographically distant teachers, students, and scientists and allow posting of data obtained in the field research module. Teacher training and support will be provided through summer workshops. Training and evaluation sessions will provide opportunities for further interaction among project leaders and teachers.

Because many of the school districts surrounding Cornell are in rural areas, the modules will be as self-contained as possible and will be supported by an equipment lending library established early in the project. The completed modules will be disseminated nationally through regional meetings and posting on educational websites, and module kits will be available online.

Abstract

This project will develop and disseminate a collection of innovative high-school laboratory exercises that will stimulate hands-on, inquiry-based learning of fundamental biological concepts, and foster critical thinking among students regarding the role of basic research in society.

The laboratory units will feature Tetrahymena thermophila, a safe, easily grown single-cell organism that is ideal for demonstrating many of the basic principles of biology without engendering any of the conflicting reactions often invoked by the use of multicellular organisms in the classroom. Teaching modules will be made available through the Tetrahymena Stock Center, an NCRR-funded resource center at Cornell University that distributes genetic strains of T. thermophila to the community at-large.

Along with hands-on (wet lab) exercises, a cross platform module suitable for high school social studies and civics courses (as well as biology courses), will be developed to address the relationship of basic science, biotechnology, and society. This unit will stress the fundamental role of basic research, and stimulate vigorous discourse and debate on the interplay of scientific research, biotechnology, public policy, science funding, public oversight of scientific research, and other scientific and societal issues using Tetrahymena as a focal point.

This organism's journey from a little known sideline to a well-understood biological model with direct relevance to human health offers a perfect backdrop to explore such issues. The Stock Center will partner with the Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers and with regional teachers in New York's southern tier to prepare, test, and evaluate of these modules.

To encourage communication among teachers, students, and scientists at geographically separate locations, and to allow posting of data obtained in the field research module, a dedicated website will be established. Teacher training and support in the development and implementation of the modules will be provided through summer workshops at Cornell University. Opportunities for further interaction among project leaders and teachers will be provided during two Saturday training and evaluation sessions, one in late fall and one in late spring during the last four years of the project. An external evaluator will be involved at all steps in the development, testing, evaluation, and dissemination of the modules. Since many of the school districts surrounding Cornell are in rural areas, these modules will be designed to be as self-contained as possible, and when necessary, will be supported by an equipment lending library established in the first two years of the project. We intend these modules to be as accessible as possible to all schools with limited facilities in order to stimulate interest in science and scientific careers among rural and other underrepresented youth. Finally, we intend to disseminate the refined and completed modules on a national level, by providing information at various regional meetings, posting on educational websites, and making module kits available over the web.

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE (provided by applicant): The Tetrahymena Stock Center in partnership with the Cornell University Institute for Biology Teachers and local high schools in New York's southern tier will develop and disseminate a collection of innovative laboratory modules targeted primarily towards schools serving rural and other underrepresented youth. These laboratory exercises are intended to enhance K-12 biology education and raise awareness of the role of basic research in today's society.

ASSET: Advancing Secondary Science Education with Tetrahymena /grants/asset-advancing-secondary-science-education-tetrahymena 1664 R25RR025126 1 NY 2009 06/15/2009 03/31/2014 Cornell University, Ithaca Office of Sponsored Programs
Ithaca NY 14850-2820 Microbiology and Immunology PI CLARK THEODORE G. PhD. (607) 253-4042 (607) 253-3384 tgc3@cornell.edu https://tetrahymenaasset.vet.cornell.edu/ https://tetrahymenaasset.vet.cornell.edu/

This project will develop and disseminate high school laboratory exercises that will stimulate hands-on, inquiry-based learning of fundamental biological concepts and foster critical thinking about the role of basic research in society.

The exercises will target schools serving rural and other underrepresented youth, and will feature Tetrahymena thermophila, a safe, easily grown single-cell organism. Teaching modules will be made available through the NCRR-funded Tetrahymena Stock Center at Cornell University. Along with hands-on exercises, a cross-platform module suitable for high school social studies, civics, and biology courses will be developed to address the relationship between basic science, biotechnology, and society, using Tetrahymena as a focal point.

The Stock Center will partner with the Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers and teachers in New York's southern tier to prepare, test and evaluate the modules. An external evaluator will be involved at all steps from development to dissemination of the modules. A dedicated website will encourage communication among geographically distant teachers, students, and scientists and allow posting of data obtained in the field research module. Teacher training and support will be provided through summer workshops. Training and evaluation sessions will provide opportunities for further interaction among project leaders and teachers.

Because many of the school districts surrounding Cornell are in rural areas, the modules will be as self-contained as possible and will be supported by an equipment lending library established early in the project. The completed modules will be disseminated nationally through regional meetings and posting on educational websites, and module kits will be available online.

This project will develop and disseminate a collection of innovative high-school laboratory exercises that will stimulate hands-on, inquiry-based learning of fundamental biological concepts, and foster critical thinking among students regarding the role of basic research in society.

The laboratory units will feature Tetrahymena thermophila, a safe, easily grown single-cell organism that is ideal for demonstrating many of the basic principles of biology without engendering any of the conflicting reactions often invoked by the use of multicellular organisms in the classroom. Teaching modules will be made available through the Tetrahymena Stock Center, an NCRR-funded resource center at Cornell University that distributes genetic strains of T. thermophila to the community at-large.

Along with hands-on (wet lab) exercises, a cross platform module suitable for high school social studies and civics courses (as well as biology courses), will be developed to address the relationship of basic science, biotechnology, and society. This unit will stress the fundamental role of basic research, and stimulate vigorous discourse and debate on the interplay of scientific research, biotechnology, public policy, science funding, public oversight of scientific research, and other scientific and societal issues using Tetrahymena as a focal point.

This organism's journey from a little known sideline to a well-understood biological model with direct relevance to human health offers a perfect backdrop to explore such issues. The Stock Center will partner with the Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers and with regional teachers in New York's southern tier to prepare, test, and evaluate of these modules.

To encourage communication among teachers, students, and scientists at geographically separate locations, and to allow posting of data obtained in the field research module, a dedicated website will be established. Teacher training and support in the development and implementation of the modules will be provided through summer workshops at Cornell University. Opportunities for further interaction among project leaders and teachers will be provided during two Saturday training and evaluation sessions, one in late fall and one in late spring during the last four years of the project. An external evaluator will be involved at all steps in the development, testing, evaluation, and dissemination of the modules. Since many of the school districts surrounding Cornell are in rural areas, these modules will be designed to be as self-contained as possible, and when necessary, will be supported by an equipment lending library established in the first two years of the project. We intend these modules to be as accessible as possible to all schools with limited facilities in order to stimulate interest in science and scientific careers among rural and other underrepresented youth. Finally, we intend to disseminate the refined and completed modules on a national level, by providing information at various regional meetings, posting on educational websites, and making module kits available over the web.

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE (provided by applicant): The Tetrahymena Stock Center in partnership with the Cornell University Institute for Biology Teachers and local high schools in New York's southern tier will develop and disseminate a collection of innovative laboratory modules targeted primarily towards schools serving rural and other underrepresented youth. These laboratory exercises are intended to enhance K-12 biology education and raise awareness of the role of basic research in today's society.