ASSET is back!

Our NIH SEPA grant has been renewed, and we’re back! Here’s a taste of what ASSET has to offer:

  • FREE 2-week loan of fully equipped science kits that engage elementary, MS, and HS students in an investigation of key biological concepts using safe, easy to grow, living protozoa (Tetrahymena) as a model organism. Student protocols and teacher guides included. See what we have to offer.
  • Students can also test the impact of e-cigarette vapor, tobacco smoke, and alcohol on living cells using extracts provided by ASSET. Toxic effects on ciliary motion and swimming behavior, cell morphology, and viability are clear and easily observed.
  • ASSET provides an opportunity for individual or small group independent investigation using Tetrahymena as a model research organism. Students identify a question, create a hypothesis, and develop a teacher-approved and supervised classroom project to test their hypothesis. To obtain cells, media, and short-term loan of materials and supplies, students submit a short “grant proposal” for ASSET approval. We are especially interested in providing opportunities for independent inquiry to students at under-resourced schools.
  • On-campus teacher workshops and short, interactive, teacher-run distance workshops at local schools, featuring the use of ASSET modules.


  • New modules introducing bioinformatics and using the Tetrahymena Genome Database to teach gene structure and function.
  • Incorporation of more mathematical concepts within existing modules to teach math in the context of core biological concepts.
  • Distance learning curriculum to serve students that cannot participate in in-person instruction.