STEM Content and Standards

Modeling Protein Structure & Function: Pencil Transferase

The interrelationship of structure and function is a key theme of biology. One important example of this relationship involves how the three-dimensional shapes of proteins are related to the roles they play at the cellular level. The treatment of protein structure in many introductory textbooks, however, is cursory and focuses on the relationships among primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structure without a clear link to how these levels of organization contribute to functional aspects of the protein.

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Advanced Bioinformatics: Genetic Research (Bio-ITEST)

The Bio-ITEST genetic research curriculum unit explores how bioinformatics is used to perform genetic research. Specifically, the bioinformatics tools of BLAST, ORFinder, ClustalW and Cn3D are used to analyze genetic sequences. The cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene is introduced as the “DNA barcoding” gene that allows for identification of species. Students examine DNA sequences from different animal species, investigate the relationship between protein structure and function, and explore evolutionary relationships among eukaryotic organisms.

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Introductory Bioinformatics: Genetic Testing (Bio-ITEST)

The Bio-ITEST genetic testing curriculum explores how bioinformatics is applied to genetic testing. Specifically, the bioinformatics tools of BLAST and Cn3D are used to investigate the genetic and molecular consequences of a mutation to the Breast Cancer Susceptibility 1 (BRCA1) gene. Students are also introduced to principles-based bioethics in order to support their thoughtful consideration of the many social and ethical implications of genetic testing. Throughout the unit, students are presented with a number of career options in which the tools of bioinformatics are used.

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Bioinformatics Education in High School: Implications for Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Careers

We investigated the effects of our Bio-ITEST teacher professional development model and bioinformatics curricula on cognitive traits (awareness, engagement, self-efficacy, and relevance) in high school teachers and students that are known to accompany a developing interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.

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STELAR Webinar: Digital Badging in ITEST Projects

On Tuesday, March 28, STELAR explored the use of digital badges in two ITEST projects.

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STELAR Webinar: Digital Badging in ITEST Projects

On Tuesday, March 28, STELAR explored the use of digital badges in two ITEST projects.

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National Science Foundation STEM + Computing Partnerships (STEM+C) Program Solicitation

As computing has become an integral part of the practice of modern science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the STEM + Computing Partnerships program seeks to address the urgent need to prepare students from the early grades through high school in the essential skills, competencies, and dispositions needed to succeed in a computationally-dependent world.

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National Science Foundation: Computer Science for All (CSforAll:RPP) Solicitation

The Computer Science for All Researcher Practitioner Partnerships (CS for All: RPP) program aims to provide all U.S. students the opportunity to participate in computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) education in their schools at the K-12 levels.

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National Science Foundation Dear Colleague Letter: Enabling the Future of Making to Catalyze New Approaches in STEM Learning and Innovation

Building on NSF's early investments in Making, the purpose of this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) is to encourage EAGER proposals to conduct exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches that advance the frontier of knowledge with respect to STEM learning and design thinking. Specifically, NSF challenges and encourages the community to submit innovative proposals for fundamental research or the integration of research and education that: 

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STELAR Webinar: National Science Foundation Funding for Maker Education and SBIR/STTR Projects

On Tuesday, October 18, STELAR hosted NSF Program Officers David Haury and Robert Russell as they presented a webinar on National Science Foundation funding for research, development, and small business proposals for Maker-focused projects.  

During this webinar brief overviews were provided of the following programs and opportunities:

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