New frontiers are opening daily in the field of biomedical research. With the ever-increasing understanding of how genes control normal and abnormal cell processes every American needs to have a basic understanding of the human body and the processes that regulate its organs tissues and cells. In addition they need to be educated about issues such as agricultural genetic manipulation which may affect them or the world around them. The rapid pace at which research is changing our understanding of biology presents great challenges to teachers who are preparing their students to become informed citizens and consumers. In order to keep their curricula current teachers must try to stay abreast of this rapidly changing field and must try to understand advances from the perspective of how they will affect themselves and their students. The Biomedical Research for Arizona Teachers project is a partnership between middle and high school biology teachers General Biology Program staff and University of Arizona biomedical researchers in 24 departments. Middle and high school teachers will be able to enhance their knowledge of the biomedical sciences in several settings. This program will provide summer courses in cell and molecular biology for middle and high school biology teachers. Teachers who wish to pursue a master’s degree in biology will participate in biomedical research more than two summers and will develop or adapt biomedical science curriculum for their students. Program staff will provide technical and material support to the teachers as they implement the new curricula in their classrooms.
This project will improve and expand the successful General Biology Program for Teachers that offers graduate-level science instruction in cell and molecular biology to middle and high school biology teachers. A master’s degree program that offers research opportunities at the University of Arizona is also provided to the teachers.