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The Gene Educator Series

Join us for a series of educator workshops based on Ken Burns' documentary  The Gene: An Intimate History bringing together science, history and personal stories. Watch the recorded workshops featuring turn key activities for your classroom and guest speakers whose research is cutting edge in the field.

Screening: The Gene: An Intimate History

The Gene: An Intimate History weaves together science, history, and personal stories to create a historical biography of the human genome. It tells the story of the rapid evolution of genetic science from Gregor Mendel’s groundbreaking experiment in the 19th century to CRISPR, and the hope that newfound powers to alter DNA with pinpoint precision will transform the treatment of some of the world’s most complex and challenging diseases. The series also tackles the daunting ethical challenges that these technologies pose for humankind. View this documentary in its entirety, four hours, in preparation for Gene Testing and Genome Editing & CRISPR workshops. 

Screening was held January 11th and 13th 2021. Full episode can be viewed on PBS LearningMedia.

Hosted by Nancy Coddington, WSKG Public Media
                   Dominick Fantacone, New York State Master Teacher Program 


Gene Testing Workshop

In this workshop, attendees learned about resources available to them from PBS LearningMedia that cover topics such as gene testing and direct to consumer testing. Participants were given time to collaborate with colleagues to determine which resources will be the most effective to utilize in their classrooms. We were joined by guest speaker Dr. Heather Fiumera, Associate Professor Biological Sciences from Binghamton University who shared the latest in gene testing and the work that her lab is doing in this field. Teachers that attended received CTLE credit: 2 hrs. Registration is closed.
Dr. Fiumera's Cat Phenology Lab ppt
Cat Phenology Lab

Workshop presented by:
Maureen Smith, Broome Tioga BOCES
Jessica Schindler, Biology SAR Southern Section STANYS Greene Central School District
Erin Degan, Biology Teacher Bainbridge-Guilford Central School District
Nancy Coddington, WSKG Public Media

This workshop was recorded on January 26, 2021.




Genome Editing & CRISPR Workshop

In this workshop, attendees learned about genome editing technology through the lens of CRISPR Cas-9 and used assets from The Gene: An Intimate History on PBS LearningMedia. Participants were given time to collaborate with colleagues to explore how they may integrate genome editing content into their course curriculum. Attendees heard from guest speakers Dr. Chennan Li and Jenna Clingerman, researchers from the Kasinski Cancer Genomics lab at Purdue University. Teachers that attended received CTLE credit: 2hrs Registration in closed. 

Workshop presented by:
Dr. Jeff Radloff, SUNY Cortland, Colleges SAR Southern STANYS
Dominick Fantacone, NYS Master Teacher
Nancy Coddington, WSKG Public Media, Elementary SAR Southern Section STANYS


This workshop was recorded on January 28, 2021.

Partners: Professional Learning and Innovation Center at Broome-Tioga BOCES, SUNY Cortland, Science Teachers Association of New York State (STANYS), New York State Master Teacher Program, WSKG Public Media

Other Resources:

NOVA Cracking the Genetic Code

What will it mean when most of us can afford to have the information in our DNA—all six billion chemical letters of it—read, stored and available for analysis? NOVA's Cracking Your Genetic Code reveals that we stand on the verge of such a revolution. But what are the moral dilemmas raised by this new technology? Will it help or hurt us to know the diseases that may lie in our future? What if such information falls into the hands of insurance companies, employers or prospective mates? One thing is for certain: the new era of personalized, gene-based medicine is relevant to everyone, and soon you will be choosing whether to join the ranks of the DNA generation.

The media resources below enable educators to present some of the bioethical debates that surround genetic testing.