J. Craig Venter Institute Hosts Genomics Education Program for DC Metro Area Teachers

Program gives teachers in-depth information about exciting advances in genomics

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) is hosting their 6th Annual DiscoverGenomics! Curriculum Workshop, July 26 through July 30, and will be hosting the Genomics Course for Educators, the following week, August 2 through August 6, at JCVI's Rockville, MD facility. These courses, made possible by support from Life Technologies Foundation, are designed for Washington Metropolitan area teachers to learn about the rapidly evolving field of genomics through direct interaction with JCVI scientists.

Through the course, local middle and high school teachers will learn about and become proficient in the latest tools and technologies of genomics. They will then use this information to develop classroom and individual learning activities for their students. In an effort to better understand our environment and biodiversity at the genetic level, teachers will have the opportunity to learn new and exciting research protocols to identify plant and bacterial species taken from soil from their own school yards. As part of these programs, teachers are eligible to participate with the Mobile Lab or Mobile Equipment Programs.

In June, JCVI hosted ten educators at their San Diego, CA facility.  These teachers were very enthusiastic about the program.  One teacher commented, "Very informative! Lot of hands-on lab experience with tools that I have had a desire to learn about but, until now, did not have the opportunity."  Another stated that the lab activities that were presented "are realistic labs that will engage my students and make sense of the (science) content studied."  

JCVI has a long history of pioneering science which continues today. Recently, JCVI scientists published the first self replicating synthetic cell. The science teams have also published the first diploid human genome, uncovered more than 40 million new genes as part of the global Sorcerer II Expedition, and have been sequencing and understanding the genomes of thousands of organisms from a variety of branches of life. The efforts of the Education Staff are no different; they are fueled by the same enthusiasm for science. The JCVI education team provides direct access to these scientific advances and the scientists involved through their customized programs.  

About the J. Craig Venter Institute and the Education Group

The JCVI is a not-for-profit research institute in Rockville, MD and San Diego, CA dedicated to the advancement of the science of genomics; the understanding of its implications for society; and communication of those results to the scientific community, the public, and policymakers. Founded by J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., the JCVI is home to approximately 400 scientists and staff with expertise in human and evolutionary biology, genetics, bioinformatics/informatics, information technology, high-throughput DNA sequencing, genomic and environmental policy research, and public education in science and science policy. For additional information, please visit http://www.jcvi.org/.  

The JCVI Education Group has designed the DiscoverGenomics! Science Education Program as a science enrichment program taught in formal and informal learning settings to reach students throughout their academic career. DiscoverGenomics! staff works closely with classroom teachers or coordinators to ensure each experience achieves the team's goals and objectives, reinforces specific school standards and gives maximum exposure to science careers. The DiscoverGenomics! staff has over 10 years experience working with young students and adults. The program includes exciting components like the DiscoverGenomics! Mobile Lab Program. DiscoverGenomics! Mobile Equipment Program, Professional Development, Internships and the Visiting Student Program.  To learn more about or how you can sponsor a component of the DiscoverGenomics! Science Education Program at JCVI contact Lisa McDonald at 301-795-7394 or mcdonald@jcvi.org.

SOURCE J. Craig Venter Institute



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