Thanks to everyone who participated in our sessions at NABT in Dallas. It was awesome to see so many enthusiastic teachers ready to infuse their classes with new and exciting topics. Lots of folks were already familiar with bioinformatics and just looking for some new ideas -- see our Medical Problem Solving activities -- but for many other teachers, bioinformatics was new, unfamiliar, and slightly intimidating. However, they stayed, they learned, and some came to all three sessions!
Is bioinformatics new to you too? If so, I encourage you to visit our teacher resources section. Spend some time getting up to speed on the background and history of this interesting new field. Our What is Bioinformatics? page will connect you with online tutorials, but those might get too detailed too quickly. If you need to back up and figure out how this fits in your biology (or computer science!) classroom, visit Bioinformatics in High School and read about how other teachers are integrating bioinformatics into their curricula.
Better yet, find a colleague and form a little study group to discuss and share what you've learned. Two or more brains put together can be a powerful thing!
After you've done a tutorial and read Kathleen Gabric's vision for bioinformatics in a high school classroom, try out an activity or three. Here are some good ones to start with:
- Researching Genetic Disorders Using BLAST - A modified version of the classic BLAST activities, this is a great activity for a grade 9 or 10 bio class.
- Medical Problem Solving: A Genetic Link to Anemia - Designed for AP / Advanced classes, this activity guides students through OMIM, the NSBI Map Viewer, and 10K Microarray data to identify a disease and find the gene that’s causing it.
- Bear Evolution - Another update of a classic!
After that, go explore the entire activities collection!
And of course, there's a links page, for when you're feeling like you're ready for more, more, more! Go there to hop over to bioinformatics databases and software, virtual labs and other teaching resources, and other people's lesson plans, modules, and activities. We're certainly not the only ones doing bioinformatics for high school and college classrooms! We'd love it if you use the activities we've made available, but more importantly, we just want you to find what your learners need!