Learning about the Human Genome. Part 2: Resources
for Science Educators. ERIC Digest.
by Haury, David L.
This is a resource companion to "Learning About the Human Genome, Part
1: Challenge to Science Educators" (Haury, 2001). The resources identified
below are provided to assist educators in meeting the challenges discussed
in Part 1. An indication of the potential linkages between the HGP and
the National Science Education Standards is included, along with Web resources
and instructional materials that can serve as starting places in developing
school instruction and public outreach programs
LINKAGES TO THE "NATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION STANDARDS"
Study of the HGP provides a unique opportunity to address many core
science education standards in an integrated manner. The HGP itself depends
on the integration of science, mathematics, computing, and other technologies,
and the resulting knowledge relates to many of the unifying concepts and
content areas of the national standards. The following broad areas of the
"National Standards" seem particularly relevant in learning about the HGP:
* Each of the following concepts are integral to the activities and
findings of the HGP
K-12 Unifying concepts:
Systems, order, and organization
Evidence, models, and explanation
Constancy, change, and measurement
Evolution and equilibrium
Form and function
* Involving students in HGP-related investigations will extend the traditional
concept of inquiry to include the computational sciences and an understanding
of the techniques and reasoning patterns associated with constructing genetic
Science as Inquiry
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
Understandings about scientific inquiry
* Many aspects of life science relate to the HGP, but concepts in the
following areas seem most relevant:
Molecular basis of heredity
* One of the key opportunities in teaching and learning about the HGP
is that it provides a rich context for studying problem solving and the
relationships among the sciences and many technologies. As fields of biotechnology
develop and assume more importance to our daily lives, it will become increasingly
important to help students understand the connections between science and
Science and Technology
Abilities of technological design
Understandings about science and technology
* The findings of the HGP directly relate to personal and community
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Personal and community health
* Study of the HGP provides a unique opportunity to examine a rapidly
developing field of knowledge that is expanding our concept of scientific
enterprise. As a human endeavor, the HGP also presents to society many
decisions having serious ethical dimensions.
History and Nature of Science
Science as a human endeavor
Nature of scientific knowledge
HGP ON THE WEB
Human Genome Project Information
This is a gateway to a large array of resources related to the HGP.
Following are pages of particular relevance to educators:
* Human Chromosome Launchpad
* Human Genome Sequence Access Sites
* Learning About the Human Genome Project and Genetics Through
the World Wide Web
* Genomics and Its Impact on Medicine and Society: A 2001 Primer
http://www.ornl.gov/hgmis/publicat/primer2001/index.html%20@ @* Genetics
and Human Genome Project Images
Functional Genomics (Science)
News, articles, education section, many resources and links
A guide to online glossaries and dictionaries related to genomics and
Genome News Network
This online news magazine provides informed coverage of important developments
in genomic research around the world. Added resources include the following
primers: "What is a genome?" "Assembling the genome," and "Sequencing the
Genetics and Ethics
A clearing house for information on the social, ethical and policy issues
associated with genetic knowledge and technology; a wide range of views
and perspectives is presented.
Cracking the Code of Life (NOVA Online)
The companion Web site to a 2-hour television special that chronicles
the race to sequence the human genome. A wide range of resources is provided,
including a webcast of the original show.
The New Genetics: A Resource for Students and Teachers
Links to a wide variety of genetics education resources.
DNA Learning Center (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory)
This website has numerous educational tools including DNA From the Beginning,
an animated primer on the basics of DNA, genes, and heredity. Other resources
include a multimedia guide to genetic disorders, a biology animation library,
DNA-related databases and search tools designed for educational use, restriction
maps and nucleotide sequences for a set of plasmids, and other resources
for teaching and learning about DNA.
"Exploring Our Molecular Selves" Online Multimedia Educational Kit (National
Human Genome Research Institute)
The following high school level modules are available for downloading:
"Milestones in Genetics:" An interactive timeline presenting more than
90 key events in the history of genetics
"Genes, Variation, and Human History:" Two interactive classroom activities
allow students to study the similarities and differences among individuals
and among populations
"How to Sequence a Genome:" An animated, narrated presentation of the
essential steps in sequencing an organism's genome
"Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications:" Seven case studies are presented
with discussion questions
"Exploring Our Molecular Selves:" A 3D computer-animated video illustrating
the basic components and principles of molecular biology.
BSCS has produced several comprehensive and modular programs in biology
at all levels (http://www.bscs.org/cp.html). Following are selected inquiry-oriented
modules relating to genetics and the HGP that are available online or in
printed form upon request.
"The Human Genome Project: Biology, Computers, and Privacy" (1996)
This high school module focuses on information technology as it relates
to the HGP, and it provides teachers with background information on the
construction and use of genetic databases. The seven activities involve
students directly in the manipulation of hypothetical genomic data and
consideration of concerns about the possible misuse of generalized and
personal genomic data in healthcare, employment, and insurance.
"Mapping and Sequencing the Human Genome: Science, Ethics, and Public
the history, organization, and funding of the HGP and provides teachers
background information about the science and technology used in the HGP
as well as the project's ethical and public policy dimensions. Four classroom
activities give students experience working with a database of DNA sequences,
analyzing the genetic contribution to human traits, assessing who should
have access to genetic data, and using knowledge about our genetics to
establish public policy.
"The Puzzle of Inheritance: Genetics and the Methods of Science" (1997)
This high school module provides teachers with information about nontraditional
inheritance , including genomic imprinting, genetic anticipation, mitochondrial
inheritance, and uniparental disomy. The five activities go beyond the
implications for personal, family, and public health to examine how these
genetic mechanisms reinforce or challenge current thinking in biology,
and how they illustrate the nature of science.
"Genes, Environment, and Human Behavior" (2000)
This high school module explores how scientists investigate the genetics
of human behavior, and includes background information on the methods and
assumptions of behavioral genetics. Five classroom activities introduce
students to the complex interactions of genetic, developmental, and environmental
phenomena on human behaviors.
"Bringing RNA Into View: RNA and its Roles in Biology" (2000)
This college module highlights the growing importance of RNA in research
on biological catalysis, molecular self-replication and evolution, and
health and disease. Background material is provided for the instructor,
and five activities are included for undergraduate classes in general biology,
cellular and molecular biology, or evolution.
"Human Genetic Variation" (1999)
NIH Curriculum Supplement (grades 9-12)
Thi s module introduces students to the basics of human genetics,its
potential to improve human health, and its application towardsunderstanding
human evolution. Five inquiry-oriented activities arecorrelated to the
National Science Education Standards, and toseveral standard biology textbooks.
The activities are also designedfor use with the highly regarded 5E instructional
model. Exploringthe Human Genome
"Your World/Our World," Volume 5, Issue 2
"Your World/Our World" is a magazine of biotechnology fundamentalsand
applications in healthcare, agriculture, the environment, andindustry,
written for students in grades 7 through 10. This specialissue includes
articles on the Human Genome Project; Structure andFunction of DNA; Genes,
Proteins, and Genetic Disease; and others.
Haury, D Challenge to Science Educators" (ERIC Digest EDO-SE-04-01).
Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental