Since 2016, pgEd has been working on a school-based project, called ARC (Building Awareness, Respect, and Confidence through Genetics), to (1) develop curricula on genetics and identity and (2) provide professional development that supports educators in bringing the topic of genetics to their classroom, regardless of what discipline they teach. Teachers, we’re honored to work with you to move this forward!
Curriculum on genetics, identity, and respect for diversity
As part of ARC, we have been developing a series of lesson plans on genetics and identity with science, social science, and language arts teachers in mind. We’re bringing our balanced and accessible approach to lesson plans that aim to get students thinking about hot topics in genetics.
New lesson plans:
- NFL and genetic tests at the stadium: Mini-lesson on consumer genetics and informed consent; published 2017)
- Genome editing and CRISPR: How might advances in our ability to change genomes impact individuals and society? (published 2017)
- Sickle cell disease and genetic engineering: Mini-lesson on clinical trials for gene therapy, informed consent, and the legacy of mistrust from past abuses in medical experimentation (published 2017)
- CRISPR in embryos: Mini-lesson on the claims of CRISPR being used to edit the genomes of twin girls born in 2018 (published 2019)
Updated lesson plans:
As part of ARC, pgEd is revamping several of our lesson plans to be more inclusive of diverse voices, more interdisciplinary, and up-to-date with the latest developments in the field.
- Consumer genetics: What are the potential benefits of and concerns about genetic tests being sold directly to consumers? (published 2018)
- Personalized medicine: How might personalized medicine impact healthcare? (published 2018)
- Introduction to Personal Genetics: How might new advances in personal genetics impact our lives, our medical decisions and society? (published 2019)
- Genetics, history, and the American eugenics movement: How can we as a society avoid the mistakes of the past to take advantage of the promise of genetics? (published 2019)
Curriculum in development
We’re hard at work to bring you new lesson plans that address questions that students often ask about during their unit on genetics. We have already piloted some of these new lessons with teachers and students. Working titles include:
- Genome engineering and the world around us
- Informed consent in the genomic age
- Sex, athletics, and human variation
- Ancestry, race, and DNA: Health implications
- Complex measurements: Intersection of genes, environment, and intelligence
Please email Dana Waring at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in contributing to the new lessons or signing up to pilot one or more of them in your classroom.
Bringing interdisciplinary professional development on the road
We’ve also launched a new series of interdisciplinary professional development workshops. Over the past few years, we’ve held workshops focused on genetics, history and social justice in Boston (at Harvard Medical School); Brockton, MA (at our SEPA partner, Brockton High School); Sioux Falls, SD (with our other SEPA partners, the Sanford Program for the Midwest Initiative in Science Exploration [PROMISE] and Harrisburg High School); Kerrville, Texas (at the annual Summer Institute For K-12 Educators organized by the SEPA-funded MENTORS project at Texas A&M Health Science Center); and Huntsville, AL (HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology). We have also been partnering with the SEPA project based at the Jackson Laboratory to provide workshops in Maine, Connecticut and California.
In summer 2019, we are excited to continue these collaborations and bring our PD to Omaha, NE, in collaboration with the SEPA project at the University of Nebraska. It has been pgEd’s privilege to visit all these communities, meeting with teachers and working together to bring the topic of personal genetics to biology, social studies, and language arts classrooms and beyond, and we look forward to making more new connections in the coming months and years.
Interested in a workshop? Please email Robin Bowman at email@example.com, so we can keep you in the loop about upcoming events or plan a visit.
This project is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the National Institutes Of Health under Award Number R25GM129172. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.