Human Genome Education Program, Stanford Human Genome Center, Palo Alto, CA 94304, Telephone: (415) 812-2003; Fax: (415) 812-1916
The Human Genome Education Program (HGEP) operates within the Stanford Human Genome Center. It is a collaborative effort among HGEP staff, Genome Center scientists, collaborating staff from other education programs, experienced high school teachers, and an Advisory Panel in the fields of science, education, social science, assessment, and ethics.
The Human Genome Project will have a profound impact on society with its applications in testing for and improving treatment of genetic disease and the many uses of DNA profiling. The goal of HGEP is to help prepare high school students and community members to be able to make educated decisions on the personal, ethical, social and policy questions raised by the application of genome information and technology in their lives.
The primary objectives for HGEP are to (1) develop a human genome curriculum for high school science and (2) education outreach to schools and community groups in the San Francisco Bay Area. To achieve Objective 1, the HGEP is working to develop, field test, and prepare for national dissemination a two laboratory-based curriculum units for high school students. Unit 1, "Dealing With Genetic Disorders," explores the variety of treatment options potentially available for a genetic disorder, including gene therapy. Unit 2, "DNA Snapshots, Peeking at Your DNA," explores human relatedness through examining the student's own DNA polymorphisms using PCR.
Each unit is centered around a societal or ethical problem raised by these important applications of genome information and technology. Students use modeling exercises and inquiry laboratory experiments to learn about the science behind a given application. Students then combine the science they have learned with other relevant information to choose a solution to the societal/ethical problem posed in the unit. As a culminating activity, the students work in groups to present and defend their solution.
To achieve Objective 2, the HGEP provides Genome Center tours for teacher, student and community groups that involve pre-tour lectures; tour exploration of genome mapping, sequencing and informatics; and post-tour lecture and discussion on genome applications, and their social and ethical implications. Also, the education program continues to work to establish and sustain local science education partnerships among schools, industry, universities and national laboratories.
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