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NIH/NSTA Web Seminars:

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Evolution and Medicine – a New Approach for High School Biology

All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions

This Web Seminar took place on May 10, 2011 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Presenting was Dr. Paul Beardsley, science educator at Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS). Dr. Beardsley gave an overview of an NIH curriculum module that helps students better understand evolution by using current examples in human health and medicine.

The PowerPoint, related resources from the NSTA Learning Center, and web links from the presentation are now contained in the above resource collection. Clicking on the collection link will place it in your Learning Center, My Library, neatly organized under the My Resource Collections tab.


This program was an overview of a curriculum module developed by NIH. In the seminar, Dr. Beardsley shared examples of the lessons, including material focused on mutations to a gene called Pax6. He gave participants the opportunity to explore data from the Pax6 gene in species used in medical studies. Dr. Beardsley discussed how an understanding of common ancestry enables scientists to use model species to learn about human health. He also provided participants with instructions for accessing the NIH curriculum module online.


Forty-eight (48) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin. In addition, one participant attended the Web Seminar from a country outside the United States: Germany.


Seminar participants received one of the NSTA SciGuides. A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants My PD Record and Certificates area in the NSTA Learning Center for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.


Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • “I loved the new examples -- with supporting materials like pictures of the eye. I can easily incorporate many of these activities to enrich my AP Bio classes. I will also be sharing the supplement with freshman bio teachers and encourage them to use at least part of it.”
  • “It opened a bunch of (for me ...) new evolutionary examples based on molecular biology and gave well prepared examples adaptable with only little need of modification for my class.”
  • “More ways to incorporate evolution that has direct examples in current society.”
  • “Can use in my AP Biology class to supplement the evolution unit. Will use both the computer activities and lactose wet lab.”

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!




For more information contact webseminars@nsta.org


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Underwritten by the National Institutes of Health.