Twenty science teachers and educational specialists from across SC and Georgia participated in the Greenwood Genetic Center’s (GGC’s) 24th annual Summer Teachers Course. Each year since 1994, GGC has offered one of four graduate level courses for teachers to gain advanced instruction and hands-on learning. Graduate credit is offered through Lander University.
This year’s course, Contemporary Topics in Genetics, focused on a variety of current technologies and issues that impact both scientists and patients. Online lectures explored timely subjects including bioinformatics, medical ethics, and CRISPR gene editing. After completion of the online course, teachers attended a two-day workshop at the end of June on GGC’s Greenwood campus to participate in group discussions, hands-on laboratory activities, and tours of GGC’s diagnostic and research laboratories.
“These courses have been very popular with science teachers through the years and we have many teachers who return year after year until they complete all four offerings,” said Leta Tribble, PhD, GGC’s Director of Education. “Our goal with these courses is to share the latest breakthroughs with science teachers improving their confidence and knowledge base in these new ideas and technologies.”
The GGC courses provide educators with access to the experts in the field as well as ideas for new and engaging topics and activities to take back to their classroom.
Many of the teachers attending the course invite GGC to work with their students during the school year through the Center’s mobile laboratory program. Tribble said it’s a major goal of the Division of Education to support both students and teachers.
“As interactive and fun as we make the activities on the mobile lab, we can only engage those students for a single class period on a single day,” added Tribble. “These teachers have the students’ attention for the entire semester or school year with the potential to make an enormous impact on their academic interests and future career goals.”
“I loved the material this year and am so amazed at the advances that have been made, even since my first class in 2010,” shared Kathryn Knox, a science teacher at Lancaster High School. “These courses allow us to continue to educate our students with the most up-to-date information.”