Whether you are teaching a biology class or training health care professionals, finding high-quality, engaging teaching guides, case studies, and interactive tools for your learners can be challenging. The following resources for educators are designed to help students learn about rare diseases and genetic concepts. The list is divided into resources that are appropriate for students in middle school, high school, and college as well as healthcare professionals. We encourage you to browse all the resources to find the ones most helpful to you.
The NIH curriculum supplements are teacher's guides for 2 weeks of lessons on the science behind selected health topics. They combine cutting-edge biomedical discoveries with state of the state-of-the-art instructional practices. Selected topics include the following:
What resources are available for middle and high school teachers?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other organizations offer free and engaging lesson plans, classroom activities, and more.
From the NIH:
- Human Genetic Variation explores the basics of human genetics, its potential to improve human health, and its application toward understanding and describing human evolution.
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) offers educational materials on genomics, including GenomeTV, Genome Advance of the Month, an online education kits called Understanding the Human Genome, and information about genomic careers.
- Evolution and Medicine explores how health and disease are related to human evolution and why some diseases are more common in certain parts of the world.
GeneEd is a useful resource for teachers and students in grades 9-12 to learn about genetics. Teachers can use the site to introduce topics, supplement existing materials, and provide a reliable resource to students who are researching a topic. The site links to categories such as research articles, animations, games, videos, interactive tutorials, labs and experiments.
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) offers science education materials on genetics and other topics that aim to strengthen public understanding and appreciation of science. NIGMS offers online interactive games, posters for the classroom, and other science education tools for students and teachers.
Genome: Unlocking Life's Code is an exhibition celebrating the discovery of the DNA double-helix in 1953 and completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). Unlocking Life's Code is currently touring North American cities. To plan your visit, check the exhibit schedule.
The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is dedicated to improving biological science literacy and the understanding of how biology informs societal issues. The AIBS offers issue-based articles and lesson plans through its actionbioscience website.
Baylor College of Medicine Center for Educational Outreach aims to advance quality teaching and learning in science and health, and to promote access to careers in medicine and science-related fields. The college offers video presentations, slide sets, and lesson plans that are searchable by topic.
The Concord Consortium offers hundreds of interactive research-based resources covering a variety of science, engineering, and math topics for use by teachers and students.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's DNA Learning Center aims to prepare students to thrive in the gene age. The New York laboratory has an interactive exhibit, hosts summer day camps, and teacher training workshops. The organization offers many media-rich, interactive tutorials, and laboratory experiments. Explore these websites.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is dedicated to advancing science education. HHMI provides teaching tools for use in high schools.
Teach.Genetics is a University of Utah site offering a wealth of resources and information aimed at helping educators bring genetics, bioscience, and health to the classroom. A companion to popular Learn.Genetics website, Teach.Genetics offers additional tools and resources to support your curriculum.
The Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR): Teacher Center has an extensive archive, including full lesson plans and guidelines, and provides a variety of professional development programs to promote understanding of biomedical research. The NWABR supports excellence in science teaching and building connections between scientists, teachers, and students.
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is Europe's largest genome center. The Institute strives to help people understand the science and social implications of genetics and genomes. YourGenome.org covers background biology, provides insight into scientific life at the Institute, and describes the views and concerns of leading researchers in the field.
What resources are available for college and university professors?
If you are looking to inspire your students to explore and pursue careers in the biomedical sciences, the following websites can help.
The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is dedicated to improving biological science literacy and the understanding of how biology informs societal issues. The AIBS and partners have organized a number of professional development programs, such as the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education.
The Biomedical Careers Initiative is a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine resource to help undergraduate and graduate students explore, choose, and pursue a biomedical career.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is dedicated to advancing science education. HHMI offers science education grant programs for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral science education as well as educational materials for use in colleges and universities.
The Office of Intramural Training and Education presentations are created for National Institutes of Health (NIH) trainees, but may be helpful for college, graduate, and postgraduate audiences. Content topics include exploring careers, getting to graduate and professional schools, grant writing, and communications.
What resources are available for healthcare professional instructors?
New findings in genomics are changing clinical practice in many areas of medicine and compelling healthcare professionals to increase their knowledge of genomics. The following organizations and projects offer free training in genomics to healthcare professionals.
The National Human Genome Research Institute's (NHGRI's) Genetics and Genomics for Health Professionals website provides reliable up-to-date genetics and genomics information related to patient management, curricular resources, new NIH and NHGRI research activities, and ethical, legal and social issues.
The Genetics/Genomics Competency Center (G2C2) offers educational resources provided b y healthcare educators and practitioners for group instruction or self-directed learning in genetics and genomics. The G2C2 solicits, reviews and organizes resources through an interdisciplinary collaborative exchange.
The Global Genetics and Genomics Community (G3C) website offers a bilingual collection of unfolding case studies for use with students and practicing healthcare providers who are learning basic genetic and genomic concepts. The case studies offer a self-guided learning experience that allows for experiential learning using practice-based skills.
The Genetics Society of America aims to advance the field of genetics and is dedicated to providing support, collaboration, and guidance for trainees and educators.
The Genetics and Genomics Education Centre of the United Kingdom's National Health Service aims to improve healthcare professionals' understanding of genetics and its role in healthcare.
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