Science education

Cofactor Genomics is offering to sequence a genome for a few classes for free using Next Generation DNA Sequencing technology (either Illumina GA or via AB SOLiD). Quoting from their site:
Cofactor will ask course organizers for a 1 page description of how their ~700Mb sequencing project could be used as an effective teaching aid in their class. We will review and choose the best entries during the month of May. Those entries will be awarded a free sequencing project ... Read more

A friend of mine; serial entrepreneur, and former president of Genetic Systems; Joe Ashley, told me once that starting a business is an unnatural act.

Now that I've done it, I agree. Even with my multiple back-up plans, possible grants, and part-time activities, my stomach still hurts and my mind is racing. My new company has "spun out" of another. Spinning out of control until you fall down from exhaustion. It's a great metaphor all right.

Sure, there's excitement and adventure. I love my new shiny business cards and my new shiny web site! It's fun ... Read more

One of the newfangled ideas that's popped up in education in the past few years has been notion that more interactive methods of teaching will lead to better results.

There's an appealing logic to this notion.

... Read more

Since I'm an adjunct faculty member at a couple of community colleges, I'm able to delete most of my e-mail with barely a glance. But this one made my jaw drop!
Dear Educators: Alliance Library System and LearningTimes are pleased to announce an exciting conference featuring science and virtual worlds. On January 30th we are "Stepping Into Science" and taking the day to explore the possibilities of using virtual worlds to learn about and teach science. The conference will be taking place entirely in Second Life and will feature a keynote ... Read more
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The 2009 Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates in Environmental Microbiology at UNLV is now accepting applications. This NSF supported program provides undergraduates with an opportunity to perform independent research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Students will ... Read more
The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a non-profit organization that opened it's doors in April, 2008. One of the great things about this institute is it's commitment to sharing biotech knowledge with the surrounding community. For the general public, HudsonAlpha has a ongoing written series on biology topics called Biotech 101. Teachers will probably find this useful too. There's a great description of Copy Number Variation written by Dr. Neil Lamb, their director of ... Read more
i-4c321d94fa65e353376faee19743c322-bestresource.pngLast fall, this blog got nominated for the 2008 Edublog awards, in the Best resource sharing category. I was a bit distracted in December so this information came and passed without any acknowledgement. Now, I would like to thank whoever nominated Discovering Biology in a Digital World. I'm ... Read more
Science education faculty don't get no respect At least that's a strong conclusion from a paper in the December 19th issue of Science (1). According to the article almost 40% of the 59 science education specialists, surveyed in the California University system, were "seriously considering leaving" their current jobs and some (20%) were considering leaving the field entirely. Why?
My oldest daughter's favorite sweatshirt is one from the Seattle Children's Theatre Drama School, with the motto, "What's your motivation?" I was reminded of motivation the other day, as I talked about projects with the DIY biology group. It's pretty clear that you can't pick a project without knowing whether you're motivated by the discovery or the application. Many of the people I've known in academia, either researchers or science educators, are motivated by the prospect of discovery. They either want to discover something new or help their students make ... Read more
This afternoon, I attended the first meeting of a DIY biology group in Seattle, after a kind invitation from one of the founders.
 
DIY, for those of you new to the acronym, stands for "Do It Yourself."
 
But, you say, there are lots of people who do biology on their own. Some people keep pets. Some have children. Others raise tropical fish, go bird watching, or mushroom hunting. Some people even make yogurt or cheese, or brew beer, or make wine. ... Read more

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