Biotech for Students & Teachers — Phase II

  • Project Description

    Give Schools Ownership of Successful Modules: Working with teachers and curriculum supervisors modules from “Whale of a Mystery” and other existing programs are being adapted for in-school use. Provide Professional Development: Graduate level courses and workshops focus on the enhanced science content and laboratory techniques pertinent to the modules. Engage Pre-service Teachers: Pre-service teachers gain experience in delivery of inquiry-based science. Opportunities include observation at BSC CityLab visiting as part of a required science methods class or through the migration of CityLab-developed modules to college-level biology courses. Build the Lending Lab Program: Equipment and supplies are provided to participating schools along with technical assistance through phone email and visits by our staff to the classrooms. Build Infrastructure within the College: Growth of a new Center for the Advancement of Science Exploration (CASE) housing BSC CityLab will help develop long-term sustainability of programs developed through this NIH grant. Engage Community through an Annual Conference: Annual conference to raise the profile of CASE and promote outreach on health and biotechnological advances within the community of educators high school students and the general public.

  • Abstract

    Biotech for Students and Teachers Phase II expands the partnerships and dissemination of curricula and activities developed in Phase I. Through BSC CityLab’s programs over 9000 students and 300 teachers representing more than 20 school districts in Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island were served. Phase I of the project was built upon an existing partnership between Bridgewater State College (BSC) Boston University School of Medicine CityLab the Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District and Brockton Public Schools. Phase II expands the partnerships to several other schools throughout Massachusetts that will participate in adapting the following curricula into in-school thematic investigations: “Whale of a Mystery” a forensic mystery that engages middle school children in biotechnology and the process of inquiry through an interdisciplinary approach toward education “Lab Larceny” a DNA fingerprinting module for high school students “Chances Are?” a genetics module that targets high school students Phase II goals are to: Increase the dissemination of existing curricula Establish long-term sustainability for BSC CityLab programs Increased dissemination will occur by adapting curricular units from Whale of a Mystery for use directly in the schools. Support for these units will be provided through professional development and lending labs. Increased dissemination will also occur by working with Brockton Public Schools a long-standing partner in a new capacity. BSC CityLab materials Lab Larceny and Chances Are and other materials obtained through the Citylab and SEPA networks will be developed to serve the needs of Brockton High School students through after-school programs that focus on science experiments mentoring experiences health topics and careers in biomedicine and biotechnology. Plans for long-term sustainability for BSC CityLab include institutionalization of BSC CityLab within the administrative structure of the college an entity defined as a center and varied fundraising initiatives. The Phase II project will support these efforts at building a self-sustaining program by building a lending lab inventory that will be made available to schools for many years into the future and developing an annual conference that will raise the profile of BSC CityLab within the biotechnical and biomedical business communities. Health topics of current interest addressed through this initiative will include: The process of informed consent and its application to genetic tests Human genetic variation and its relationship to race and medicine These will be discussed through the afterschool programs and further developed through the annual conference in which keynote speakers and other speakers and facilitators will develop the ethical legal and educational ramifications of these topics.

  • Dissemination Strategies

    Phase II dissemination is the collaborative movement of successful science modules into partnering schools with development of an ongoing lending lab and support structure through CASE including professional development technical assistance and web resources to make the curriculum available and to connect the teaching community.

  • Project Evaluation(s)

    Evaluation Goals and Design – Assessment and Evaluation Concepts (AEC) Inc. will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the SEPA Phase II program including design implementation design or redesign of instruments data entry analysis and reporting. Using a variety of appropriate summative and formative evaluation procedures AEC will seek to determine the overall impact of the program at BSC and in the partnering school districts charter and private schools. The evaluation will also address the on-going implementation of the program with the goal of “fine tune” the program as it is being operated. In terms of the summative evaluation AEC will seek to determine how effectively the program has been incorporated into the participating school districts curricula. Specifically each participating schools’ Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) mathematics science and English/language arts tests results will be analyzed to determine the impact of the program on their students’ achievement. In addition participating teachers and their students will be surveyed and/or interviewed to determine their perceptions of the program. Besides measuring the overall impact of the program AEC will conduct on-site visits to the program’s classes to determine how effectively the program is being implemented. The evaluation results will also outline the extent to which the program could be applied to other institutions including generalizability replication and dissemination. Besides seeking to determine if the SEPA Phase II program has met each of its stated goals and objectives AEC will be cognizant of any unintended program outcomes. Instruments Used: Individual Interview and Focus Group Interview Guides Enrollment Data Forms Questionnaires Using Likert Scales Project Logs to Determine Materials Borrowed from City Lab Plan to Use the Scientific Attitude Inventory: A Revision (SAI II Moore and Foy 1997) Plan to Use Open-Ended Questions With Scoring Rubrics for Phase II Curricula Types of Data Collected: Responses of Teachers Students and Administrators to Questionnaires Focus Group and Individual Interview Guides Graduate Course Enrollment Data Information Collected at Monthly SEPA Meetings Information Collected from Project’s Files Plan to Collect Data from Scientific Attitude Scale (Affective Instrument) Plan to Collect Results of Open-Ended Questions Results of Data Analysis: End of the Year Evaluation Report with Recommendations to Improve Next Year’s Program On Going Formative Assessment Data to “Fine Tune” Implementation of Program

  • Resources for Sharing

    Science Modules with Timetable and Technical Preparation Notes: Modules include “Whale of a Mystery” a weeklong whale forensics unit and the four-hour modules “Lab Larceny” a DNA forensics module and “Chances Are?” a genetic counseling module that is a follow-up to the BUSM CityLabs Mystery of the Crooked Cell Science Modules Adapted for In-school Use: Modules being developed during Phase II will include information as above but also lesson objectives open-response and validated content tests and supplemental activities in science E/LA and math and be tied to Massachusetts State frameworks and National Science Standards

Project Audience

Students (Grades 6-12) and their teachers; college and community

Subjects Addressed

Biomedical and Biotechnological Hands-on Laboratory Modules; Professional Development for In-Service and Pre-service Teachers in Inquiry-based Science; Community Outreach in Biotechnology and Health-related Issues