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Using Rare Diseases to Teach Scientific Inquiry

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 April 25, 2011 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Presenting was Dr. Mark Bloom, science educator at Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS). Dr. Bloom gave an overview of an upcoming NIH curriculum module that helps students to use medical information from rare disease patients to draw conclusions about their condition.

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 new curriculum module from NIH that is due out this summer. In the program, Dr. Mark Bloom led participants through parts of the module to show them what the student experience would be like. Participants were also given the link to the NIH curriculum modules.

Thirty-two (32) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. Two participants attended the Web Seminar from locations outside the United States: Bermuda and Turkey.

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:

  • “At our school we do an interdisciplinary unit on disease and I was hoping this would be something we could add to our lessons. It should fit in wonderfully!”
  • “It is an interesting way for me to teach information gathering skills with the Health/PE department. I am a librarian and always looking for interesting lessons.”
  • “It gave me ideas of how to open my school year next year. I would like to use this lesson to open the year and present the idea and process of scientific inquiry. We tried this year, but students didn't quite get it - although it was the first year of a new program implementation. I think using this curriculum supplement will help quite a bit and get the year off to a good start.”
  • “I appreciate lessons that pre-empt the questions "why do we need to know this?" Making science come to life is always an attention getter.”

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

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Underwritten by the National Institutes of Health.