Biotechnology/Bioinformatics Discovery! Phase II

Project Audience

Secondary and middle school science teachers and their students

Subjects Addressed

Basic science concepts through biotechnology and bioinformatics activities

Project Website

Project Description

Enhance science education for students through professional development for teachers using the learning cycle as a pedagogical model teacher summer institutes to demonstrate to participating teachers how to use exemplary biotechnology and bioinformatics laboratory activities to teach science concepts that are aligned to state and national standards. Participating teachers are then provided with ready-to-go loaner kits containing all the equipment and materials needed to implement the activities in their classrooms. Pre-biotech middle school activities added in phase II. Increase student awareness of contributions and careers in the biomedical research enterprise. In partnership with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the GCRC in particular OCCC will provide capstone activities for students. A DVD on clinical trials is planned. Disseminate and adapt the successful phase I model. Disseminate to rural Oklahoma in four corners of the state with focus on schools with high Native American populations. Teacher-leaders at these sites will operate a regional biotechnology resource center with their students using our mock biotechnology company model. Disseminate to a national audience using conferences and highlighting lessons learned and best practices for teacher professional development and website.

Resources for Sharing

The B/B Discovery website contains extensive resources for teaching biotechnology and bioinformatics at the middle school and secondary level: sample outline for high school biotech course Hispanic teaching resources Internet resources list of supported activities (modules) including protocols for laboratories PowerPoint presentations to go along with labs photo gallery online request form listing of local and national professional development opportunities for science teachers links to science and biotech workforce standards and a list-serve for communication among project participants. New module on clinical trials as a model of a scientific experiment available targeted to middle school students includes DVD on clinical trials for students to view at home with parents (with Spanish subtitles option).

Dissemination Strategies

Websites Science teaching journal articles Presentations at local and national conferences including Oklahoma Science Teachers Association National Association of Biology Teachers national and regional National Science Teachers Association Presentations at school districts’ in-service programs for teachers


Oklahoma City Community College in partnership with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) and teacher-leaders throughout Oklahoma will expand the phase I “Biotechnology/Bioinformatics Discovery!” project to rural Oklahoma and disseminate curricula to a national audience. The broad goals of the project are to enhance science education through professional development for teachers improve student success in science – especially among underrepresented groups – so that more students will enter college and choose careers in the health sciences and to increase awareness of the contributions of the biomedical research enterprise. At least three of the four geographic regions of rural Oklahoma are targeted and the project will focus on isolated rural schools with large numbers of students from underrepresented groups in science. The Native American networks developed by OUHSC will be a primary resource. High quality inquiry modules for laboratory experiments for high school students have been prepared and are ready for adaptation to middle school students. Teacher-participants will attend summer institutes and then implement laboratory experiments for their students using the learning cycle as the pedagogical approach (explore develop concept apply/extend). The quality and content of the laboratory experiments are derived from peer-reviewed national projects to give students experiences with science content and technology that would not otherwise be available. Project personnel provide the laboratory modules for classrooms along with in-class support for the teacher as requested. Project coordinators will make regular visits to each region. A teacher-leader for each rural region will become an active member of the implementation plan. Teacher-leaders will help set up a regional equipment loaner center and will form a mock biotechnology company with their students to learn how to prepare module materials locally. Capstone activities to celebrate and promote the health sciences will occur regularly for students and their teachers with the aid of OUHSC partners. A DVD and learning module focused on clinical trials tailored to student audiences will be one project outcome. An external evaluator will provide formative feedback for continuous improvement as well as a summative evaluation. Data measures will include classroom observations teacher surveys at baseline post-workshop and post module implementation student surveys pre- and post-implementation student acquisition of science process skills and student interest in science and health careers at baseline and post-capstone experiences.

Project Evaluation(s)

Phase I evaluation is complete. Our project collected data on the following: Number of teachers who participated in workshops Number of teachers who implemented modules learned in workshops in their classes Number of schools who implemented a full biotechnology course as a result of our project Demographics of participating schools Number of students who performed the activities Number of students who came to capstone events Survey of student attitudes before and after they complete project activities concerning: interest in biotechnology ability to understand news about biotechnology ability to use the Internet to investigate biotechnology topics ability to talk or write about biotechnology issues interest in taking more science classes and interest in pursuing biotechnology as a career Sample of ACT scores on science process skills for students in the full biotechnology course pre- and post-coursework. Phase II evaluation is just beginning. We propose to collect the following data: Number of rural Oklahoma teachers who attend our workshops Number of rural Oklahoma teachers who implement our modules and numbers of students thus affected Number of contacts by project personnel with rural teachers throughout the project Pre- and post-tests to assess student learning outcomes Document numbers of capstone events including numbers and categories of participants Document production of DVD on clinical trials Pre- and post-survey of students and parents who view clinical trials DVD