Other Teaching and Learning Resources

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Why Teach -omics?

High school biology students classically learn about DNA and its mechanisms. Supplementing this general view with contemporary examples and current research strengthens the value of biology education. The study of bioinformatics and omics analyses allows teachers the opportunity to integrate such topics into traditional biology, while helping students to create meaningful connections between classroom learning and the potential for large scale discoveries in health sciences both in space and on Earth. An introduction to bioinformatics and omics analyses also helps to prepare students by practicing skillsets such as data interpretation and inferential reasoning, and can further extend into coding expertise. Giving students the opportunities to practice these skills empowers them to recognize diverse career opportunities in the numerous branches of biology.

How Can We Use Space Biology to Learn About...

Model Organisms - Use space biology examples to teach students about the use of model organisms such as mice, zebrafish, and fruit flies, and learn to navigate portions of the metadata on the GeneLab Data Repository.

Interpreting Visual Representations of Data (Graphs, Charts, or Plots) - Use one of the GeneLab Datasets to explore visualizations relevant to assessing data for statistical and biological significance. Encourage students to evaluate what a graph depicts by reading labels.

The Immune System - Explore studies in the GeneLab Data Repository associated with the organs of the immune system. This activity can be used to introduce a systems-based approach to health studies.

Plants - Using four GeneLab datasets, introduce students to plant model organisms and the types of equipment needed to conduct plant experiments in space. This activity can be used to address engineering challenges needed for biological systems.