ASSET has received a new 5-year NIH SEPA grant! We hope you will join us as we expand the ASSET program in exciting new directions. Here are some of the opportunities ASSET will offer.

Science modules for elementary and middle school students. We expanding our materials for middle and elementary level students, using previously tested modules as a starting point. We are excited at the opportunity to work with middle and elementary school teachers and students to develop innovative activities that use a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to introduce younger students to the wonders of biology using living protozoa.

Classroom research opportunities for high school students using Tetrahymena. Every so often something in class will catch a student’s interest and imagination. We intend to help capture that moment by making it possible for motivated students to follow up on an idea that interests them. Using our existing high school modules as an introduction to the use of Tetrahymena to explore biological phenomena, we will provide the opportunity for expanded independent investigation among a limited number of interested, motivated students, either individually or as part of a research class. We are especially interested in providing opportunities for independent inquiry to students at under-resourced schools. The student-designed projects will be teacher supervised, with support from the ASSET program.

Materials addressing the interaction of science and society for all grade levels. Science and society are inextricably interwoven. We are developing grade appropriate cross-curricula activities engaging students at all levels in a dynamic consideration of the inter-relatedness of science and society. The ASSET modules integrating science and society will provide well-researched and documented material suitable for use in both science and social studies curricula, addressing fundamental scientific issues with a direct relationship to life outside the classroom.

Distance workshops. To facilitate maximum use of ASSET materials at all grade levels, we are going to provide short, interactive distance workshops at local schools featuring hands-on training on the general use of Tetrahymena in the classroom, and targeting the specific use of one or two modules of choice. Our goal is to provide easily accessible training and professional development involving the use of ASSET materials to as many teachers as possible. We’ll provide the materials and live interactive instruction, just as in an on-campus workshop, but without the need to commit large blocks of time or money to travel to Cornell. We’ll be looking for teachers willing to work with us to help organize these small mini-workshops for a few local colleagues (and earn a bit of money in the process).

ASSET on social media. To help keep us in touch with teachers and to develop a sharing community of ASSET users, this summer we will be setting up Facebook and Twitter accounts for the ASSET program, and renovating our Teacher Talk blog. Details will be posted soon.