1. Exploring Databases Workshop Information

University of Washington Department of Genome Sciences Education Outreach and College of Education will host a summer workshop for high school teachers based on our Exploring Databases curriculum. Exploring Databases involves high school students in carrying out authentic research using a scientific database from a study of smoking behavior. This curriculum emphasizes the STEM areas of genetics and neuroscience, as well as development of skills in scientific research, scientific reasoning, bioethics, and using information and communication technology. This curriculum has been developed jointly by teachers, scientists, and educators.

The Exploring Databases curriculum places high school students in the role of scientists as they investigate the effects of genes and environment on smoking behavior. From 2005-2009, students and scientists collected environmental and genetic data from human research subjects. The data have now been entered into a scientific database and are ready for analysis! Students will use the Smoking Behavior database to answer their own research questions about how genetic and environmental factors might influence smoking behavior. Student database research could lead to new insights into the causes of nicotine addiction and influences on smoking behavior. Students will carry out their research solely with computers, just as many scientists today conduct research. We invite you to join us this summer in preparing to bring this curriculum and research experience into your classrooms!

The curriculum presented in this workshop is most appropriate for high school students enrolled in a second year biology class (e.g. Advanced Biology, Biotechnology, Genetics, etc.). It requires two weeks of classroom time as well as student access to computers for a minimum of two class periods. Teachers of introductory biology may also be able to use this curriculum if their students have completed the prerequisite topics (DNA and gene structure; transcription; translation; genetics; mutation). Teachers of AP Statistics and AP Psychology may also be interested in this curriculum and are encouraged to apply.

The workshop will include opportunities to utilize the curriculum and discuss its implementation in different classroom settings with diverse student populations. It will also include guest speakers from the scientific and bioethics communities and in-depth discussions of educational research related to student involvement in scientific research. Workshop participants will also learn about the educational research we are conducting in conjunction with this project and have the opportunity to consider whether they would want to participate in the research.

July 25-27, 2011, 8:30am - 4:30pm

University of Washington, Seattle

• Teachers completing the three day workshop will receive a $210 stipend. Two UW graduate credits or 24 WSTA clock hours are available at the teacher’s expense.
• Limited, distant-dependent travel funds of up to $200 are available to teachers living outside of the Puget Sound area.
• Teachers must attend all three days and complete all homework assignments in order to receive stipend, clock hours, and credits.