Jeff Davidson (Executive Director), Laurence Weinberger, Esq. (Education Committee Co-Chair), Pennsylvania Biotechnology Association, State College, PA 16801*
Your World/Our World is a biotechnology science magazine published semi-annually by the non- profit Pennsylvania Biotechnology Association (PBA) describing for seventh to tenth grade students the excitement and achievements of contemporary biotechnology. This is the only continuing source of biotechnology education specifically directed to this age group - an age at which students too frequently are turned off from science. The special Spring 1996 issue will be devoted to the presentation of the science behind the HGP, the HGP itself, and the ethical, legal, and social issues generated by the project. The strong emphasis on attractive graphic presentation and age appropriate text that have been the hallmark of the earlier issues, which have been highly acclaimed and well received by the educational, scientific, and business community, will be continued.
PBA believes that increased educational opportunities to learn about biotechnology are most effective if presented at the seventh to tenth grade levels for the following reasons:
In creating Your World/Our World, the PBA defined the following educational goals to guide the development of the magazine:
PBA recognizes that it has been a point of pride that biotechnologists have been uniquely concerned with the impact of their technology on society and have been the first to raise and encourage responsible public debate without being forced to do so by others. To do less now for the children would be a breach of this responsible history. Accordingly, this special HGP issue will address the ethical, legal, and social issues raised by the new genomic technologies. Special ethics advisors have been recruited to aid in the development of these aspects.
A complimentary copy of the special issue and its teachers' guide will be mailed to every public and private school seventh to tenth grade science teacher (approximately 40,000) in the United States. A cover announcement will explain the origin and development of the magazine and of the special edition. Teachers will be invited to purchase full classroom packets (30 copies & teacher's guide) from the PBA, but, if they are not able to afford the packets, they will be asked to respond by postcard indicating their interest. The cost of the packets will probably be in the $20 range. The PBA is actively seeking additional support so that the issue may be distributed for free or at a reduced cost. In addition, parts of the special issue will be available over the Internet via a World Wide Web Page.
PBA believes this is a unique opportunity to educate America's youth about the HGP and insure that accurate non-sensational information will be made available to our country's children.
*Supported in part by a grant from the Office of Energy Research, U.S. Department of Energy.
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