The Georgia State iGem Team competes annually in the national iGem Jamboree competition.
The Biology Department is involved in a number of educational outreach initiatives to connect the university to the community, including the Georgia State Bio-Bus.
The Bio-Bus program started in large part because many of our faculty members play dual roles as scientists and parents. As professors who relish the opportunity to teach highly motivated, inquisitive, students, we consistently observe a striking correlation between our college students’ enthusiasm for science and their exposure to hands-on, inquiry-based science instruction during their K-12 schooling. As parents of Georgia schoolchildren, nearly all of us have been asked at one time or another to bring interesting science activities to K-12 classrooms. You can get more information about the program and participation here.
The annual two-week Atlanta Science Festival celebrates local science and technology every March, featuring more than 100 events throughout metro Atlanta and reaching 50,000 children and adults annually. Festival events feature hands-on activities, tours, tastings, and performances from more than 100 community partners, including school districts, post-secondary institutions, museums, businesses, civic and community groups.
The Fostering Our Community's Understanding of Science (FOCUS) is a service-learning project in partnership with metro-Atlanta elementary and middle schools. The FOCUS program allows science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors an opportunity to support STEM teaching and learning. Interns spend about 3-5 hours a week assisting a partner teacher. In addition to their service hours, interns meet once a week in a reflective seminar to collaborate and share experiences and lessons.
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Dr. Barbara Baumstark’s research project is focused on finding effective ways to teach genetics. Using the common metaphor of DNA as a language, Baumstark's team believes the language of DNA, like other second languages, can be successfully mastered by children at an early age. With funds provided by the NIH Science Education Partnership Award, the team has created DNA is Elementary, a set of learning modules developed to teach children in grades kindergarten through 5 about classical and molecular genetics. The modules take advantage of the young learners’ facility with language acquisition by representing DNA as an instructional manual with specific directions for making each unique organism. The team is now building on its experiences with students in the K-5 arena by offering these learning modules to multi-age family groups in an informal science setting. Their long-term goal is to design a program tailored to different age groups, so all members of society can gain the knowledge and skills to become genetically literate citizens.