We are pleased that Genes, the Environment, and Me: A Health and STEM Network has been funded through a Science Education Partnership Award. The goal of GEMNet is to integrate type 2 diabetes education into a variety of high school courses and expose students from diverse backgrounds to biomedical careers.

GEMNet will develop a cross-disciplinary approach for teaching and learning about type 2 diabetes in high school biology, health, culinary, and food science classes. The increase in type 2 diabetes nationally and globally gives meaningful context for learning about the many factors that contribute to this complex condition. The topic unites science and health concepts and links these concepts to broader social issues, including environmental influences, health care, scientific research, personal choice, access to resources, diet and exercise, social justice, and public policy. As stated by a high school student exposed to GSEO's existing curriculum, "It's cool to learn how preventable [type 2 diabetes] was. I pretty much thought that if it was in your genes then you were going to get it no matter what, but there are so many ways to prevent it."

GEMNet will continue a partnership established with prior SEPA funding with an existing strong community of high school science and health teachers located primarily in the Yakima Valley. Schools in this rural, agricultural region of Washington State serve diverse students with high percentages of Hispanic and Native American students, populations who experience disproportionately high rates of type 2 diabetes. GEMNet will expand its teacher network to include teachers in the greater Puget Sound. The GEMNet advisory team includes experts in the mechanisms of type 2 diabetes, food sciences, and gene-environment interactions from the University of Washington and Fred Hutch and education experts from around Washington.

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GSEO Highlights

Recent Publications: Celebrating STEM in Rural Communities: A Model for an Inclusive Science and Engineering Festival details three successful science festivals held in Yakima, Washington.

The paper How Do You Like Your Science, Wet or Dry? reports on impacts of the Exploring Databases project.

Socratic Seminar with Data: A Strategy to Support Student Discourse and Understanding is available in the August 2017 issue of The American Biology Teacher

Carolina Kit to Support Worm Curriculum: GSEO is partnering with Carolina Biological Supply to support teachers with the What can we learn from worms? curriculum. Kits are now available here.


Exploring Databases awarded the July 2013 Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction. Click Read More for link to Science article.


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University of Washington Department of Genome Sciences
Education Outreach, Box 355065 ~ Foege Building, Room S-334 ~ Seattle, WA 98195
phone: (206) 616-4538 fax: (206) 685-7301