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This conference is managed by the American Society for Microbiology

K-8 Science Education

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Bioinformatics in the K-8 Classroom

This NIH-funded project is bringing Bioinformatics-based activities into elementary and middle school classrooms in Las Cruces. Four collaborating teachers have undergone training on a week-long unit of instruction and will implement this unit in the Spring 2010 semester. Students will engage in interactive activities to enhance their understanding and appreciation of topics including biodiversity and phylogenetic trees, DNA structure and function, and culminating in analysis of a real-life case of murder by HIV. All activities are aligned with NM science standards and benchmarks, and are being assessed to evaluate student learning and engagement. This project is funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Research Resources (P20 RR016480) (


Conexiones: Fostering Technology-Enhanced Socioscientific Inquiry in Graduate Teacher Preparation. Krista Glazewski and Michèle Shuster.

At New Mexico State University, we are committed to transforming the way that we conceptualize science education for master’s level elementary teachers (graduate teachers), thereby improving science education practice by graduate teachers. By collaborating across science and education, we are building connections between departments, and we are creating an innovative instructional program to boost both scientific and pedagogical knowledge among graduate elementary teachers through the socioscientific inquiry (SSI) model. As graduate teachers are supported in their adoption of the SSI model in their classrooms, we are targeting their development of more positive attitude towards science and more confidence in teaching science.


Our cross-disciplinary and innovative approach to graduate teacher education will be sustainable and transferable due its reliance on ubiquitous, open-source, and cost-effective technologies, and the development of an on-going professional development community. This community will allow graduate teachers to maintain a scholarly practice of implementing and assessing science education innovations in their elementary classrooms.


Our Conexiones project makes broader impacts that extend to the greater academic community. Through the work that we do and the teacher-as-researcher model, we will be able to contribute to our understanding of the inquiry experiences of teachers and their students within SSI models. We are addressing the broader impacts of what happens when teachers implement SSI, what they need for support, and how this all has implications for university instruction. This project is funded by the Department of Education, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) (Grant # P116V090037).

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