Teaching Systems Biology and Genetics Through Inquiry
Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History and the University of Chicago’s Chicago Center for Systems Biology have been collaborating to advance the teaching of systems biology and genetics since 2008. Over the past five years, museum educators and leading scientists delivered science camps and professional development programs to Chicago-area teachers and students. Annually, during the Systems Biology and Genetics Teacher Institute, high school biology teachers explored cutting-edge research, toured labs with scientists, and examined how a systems biology perspective can connect students with science in meaningful ways. In the process, participating teachers developed and tested a series of lesson plans designed to bring the science of these premier research institutions—Field Museum of Natural History, University of Chicago’s Center for Systems Biology, and Northwestern University—straight to the classroom. In addition, the project team developed video shorts that correspond to each lesson plan designed to connect students to the personal stories and research of featured scientists.
These four lesson plans, six videos, and two Harris Loan boxes are all available for use through this site. Each tab at top represents a different module. By placing your cursor on the module you can connect to the accompanying lesson plan, scientist bio, and Harris Loan box (if available).
Dr. Kevin White is the Director of the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology at the University of Chicago. He and his team use a combination of genetics, genomics, and mathematical modeling to expore the networks involved in the robustness of genes controlling segmentation in embryonic development and evolution in Drosophila melanogaster. To learn more about Kevin and his research visit his University of Chicago profile or departmental webpage.
Additionally, we would like to thank the following educators for their creativity and commitment to this project:
- Jassen Lanfair, Lane Tech College Prep
- Catherine Saccomando, Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
- Nancy Bigelow, Benito Juarez Community Academy
- Kristin N. Peterson, Hubbard High School
- Anna Chapin, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School
- Alan Allmen, Odgen International High School
- Vyjayanti Joshi, Lake View High School
- Sarah Compton, Austin Career Education Center
- Tom Champion, Naperville North High School
- Cristin Maione, Waukegan High School -Washington St Campus
- Gina Slusinski, Homewood-Flossmoor High School
- Karen Perry, Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
- KaHoua Yang, Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
- Jennifer Salazar, Ph.D.
- Kerry Klein, M.S.
Funding and support provided by NIH & CCSB. The project described was supported by award number P50GM081892 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.