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St. Louis Teachers Attend Genetics Workshop at MU

Concepts and training will benefit inner-city high school students in St. Louis

June 29, 2007

Story Contact:  Katherine Kostiuk, 573-882-3346,

COLUMBIA, Mo. — High school science teachers from inner-city schools in St. Louis are learning more about genomics this week at the University of Missouri-Columbia. A week-long seminar called "Summer Laboratory: DNA, Development and Disease" is teaching the teachers techniques and information they can use in their own classrooms.

"We have entered the genomics era, where new discoveries and dilemmas emerge with dizzying frequency," said Miriam Golomb, program coordinator and associate professor of biological sciences in MU's College of Arts and Science. "To participate fully in societal decisions affecting their lives, students need a basic understanding of modern genetics and the techniques and uses of biotechnology."

The summer program at MU is aimed at training high school teachers to use hands-on experiments that can teach their students about basic concepts and new developments in molecular genetics. The program includes workshops on how students conceptualize genetics and how to use experiments and computer-simulated technology.

The high school teachers are from the St. Louis Public School and Normandy districts. In addition to attending this summer program, they will have access to a mobile equipment program, which will provide them with high-tech equipment, reagents and a set of experiments in human population genetics and zebrafish development that can be used with their students.