High School Cyberlearning Modules
Center investigators teamed with the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance and the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit educational research and development organization, to successfully complete GENIQUEST, an exploratory project funded under the Discovery Research K12 program of the National Science Foundation (DRL0733264).
The goal of this spin-off project was to explore the effectiveness of using a digital model-based genetics environment to support secondary school students in learning the concepts underlying cutting-edge bioinformatics research. The project distilled the Center’s original high school course into a 3-week classroom computer module and consequently has the potential to reach many more students than the original course.
Students bred and studied drakes, a model organism for studying dragon diseases. By using a simplified version of the mouse genome in the drakes, students were able to apply real analytical software and databases in their analyses. Students performed QTL analysis in the initial module, and we are currently extending the project to microarray analysis through supplemental Center funding (GM076468-04S1).
The GENIQUEST program is now scheduled for inclusion in the disk image of all student laptops in Maine. The Center and our collaborators successfully secured funding to extend this cyberlearning program to test further computer-based instructional modules (NSF DRL0918642).