Increasing Scientific Literacy through Inquiry-Based Professional Development in Genetics, Muscle Biology, Microbiology, and Nutrition (2017-2018)

Over 50% of high school (i.e., secondary) students in the United States (U.S.) lack proficiency in science (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2008), and in Nebraska, 27% of 11th grade students lacked proficiency in science during the 2014-15 school year (Nebraska Department of Education, 2015). In response to this national and local problem, the goal of this project is to enhance science literacy in Nebraska by providing secondary life science educators with a rigorous professional development program that teaches real-world science through genetics, muscle biology, microbiology, and nutrition using inquiry-based teaching methods. The three measurable, outcome-oriented objectives of the project are: (1) improve secondary life science educators’ content knowledge within the sciences (genetics, muscle biology, microbiology, and nutrition); (2) improve secondary life science educators’ instructional approaches within the sciences (inquiry-based learning techniques); and (3) increase secondary life science educators’ ability to use principles of animal and food science, as a context for teaching science.

Project participant developed lesson plans

Workshop developed lesson plans