Innovating high school genomic education with hands-on and classroom teaching methods.


Ashley Greaves

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2016

JAX Location

In: Student Reports, Summer 2016, Jackson Laboratory


As genome sequence pricing drops and technological advances make laboratory procedures easier and faster, personalized genetic testing is becoming more available to the public. We now have access to information about single nucleotide polymorphisms in our genome that correlate to, and sometimes are causal of, human traits like drug metabolism, disease carrier status, and ethnic ancestry. The next generation has to be prepared to make important decisions regarding their health and privacy based on their genetic data that they can receive without medical guidance. Despite this, 85% of states in the US have inadequate high school instruction in genetics and genomics using standard concepts from The American Society of Human Genetics, Teaching the Genome GenerationTM (TtGG) is a NIH SEPA (Science Education Partnership Award) funded teacher professional development (PD) program created by The Jackson Laboratory’s Genomic Education department. This program was created in order to provide high school teachers with curricula in laboratory techniques, bioethics, and bioinformatics for use in their classrooms. This summer, I worked to enhance genomic education in high school classrooms through TtGG by observing and teaching in the two weeklong courses, genotyping stored anonymous DNA samples to create a database of positive controls for teachers to use, and selecting a new gene of study that gives teachers the opportunity to present new and challenging genomic concepts to their students.

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