Personal Genetics Education Project


pgEd is proudly embarking on a school-based project, called ARC (Building Awareness, Respect, and Confidence through Genetics), to (1) frame discussions on genetics and identity in the classroom and (2) expand the dialogue on personal genetics within schools and communities. Teachers, we’re eager to work with you to move this forward!

Curriculum on genetics, identity, and respect for diversity

Over the next few years, we’ll be 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, including gene editing/CRISPR, de-extinction, the microbiome, and the intersection of genetics and space. We’re also developing modules on sex and gender, race and ancestry, and intelligence and cognition, topics that teachers tell us students often ask about during their unit on genetics. Our lesson plan on gene editing is already online! Please email Dana Waring at if you’re interested in contributing to the new lessons or signing up to pilot one or more of them in your classroom.

Interdisciplinary professional development in MA and SD

We’ve also launched a new series of interdisciplinary professional development workshops. The first of these focused on Genetics & Social Justice, and brought ~50 educators to Harvard Medical School in summer 2016.

2016 Summer Institute Photo

2016 Summer Institute for teachers, Boston, MA

In 2017, we expanded these efforts, holding workshops at Harvard Medical School and Brockton High School (Brockton, MA).


2017 Summer Institute for teachers, Brockton, MA

With our partners at the Sanford Program for the Midwest Initiative in Science Exploration (PROMISE) and Harrisburg High School, we’ll be holding a summer program in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2018 and Rapid City, South Dakota in 2019. pgEd is looking forward to visiting these communities over the coming months and years, meeting with teachers, and working together to bring the topic of personal genetics to biology, social studies, and language arts classrooms and beyond. Interested in a workshop at one of these sites? Please email Lauren Tomaselli at, so we can keep you in the loop about upcoming events.


This project is supported by the Office Of The Director, National Institutes Of Health under Award Numbers R25OD021895. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.