K-14 Train-the-Trainers Workshops

SIABB2007 Genome Center Tour
The Summer Institute in Applied Biotechnology and Bioinformatics (SIABB 2007) instructors were duly impressed by the UC Davis Genome Center facilities.  Thanks to the 'omics research core directors, they were able to get a close up look at high thru-put experimental set-ups, robotic workflows and data analysis capabilities.

Helping Secondary and Post-Secondary Instructors Keep Up with Biotechnology Advances and Fine-Tune Related Curriculum

Supported by the National Science Foundation from 1995 - 2011, the Biotechnology Program has a long history of collaborative program administration to provide professional development for STEM instructors teaching biotech-related topics.  Working with UC Davis and community college faculty, these efforts have helped to launch several community college biotechnology training programs across the U.S., as well as supporting the development of biotechnology-focused career technical education (CTE) programs for California high school students.

Primary training partners in California for past and on-going efforts have included American River College, Solano Community College, American Canyon High School, Arthur A. Benjamin Health Professions High School (Sacramento, CA), Bella Vista High School (Fair Oaks, CA), Benicia High School, Christian Brothers High School (Sacramento, CA), Clear Lake High School, Davis Senior High School, El Camino High School (Sacramento), Hiram W. Johnson High School (Sacramento, CA), Hogan High School (Vallejo, CA), James Enochs High School (Modesto), Petaluma High School, Linden High School, River City High School (West Sacramento, CA), Rodriguez High School (Fairfield, CA), Sheldon High School (Elk Grove, CA), Vacaville High School, Vallejo High School, the Napa County Office of Education, the Sacramento County Office of Education, the Solano County Office of Education, the Sonoma County Office of Education, and the Yolo County Office of Education. We have also worked with additional high schools, community colleges and county offices of education throughout the state on a periodic basis.

Starting in 2012, support for summer workshops has been generously provided by industry partner, Expression Systems (2012 Bioinformatics, 2013-2014 Personal Genomics and 2015 Modern Farming). These most recent and on-going training programs have been developed and taught by Dr. Denneal Jamison-McClung with guest speakers and facility tours kindly provided by UC Davis research faculty and graduate students. Workshops focus on advances in genomics, remote sensing/AI and computational approaches for generating, securely storing and analyzing large data sets in the life sciences and engineering. An Introduction to R Programming for Data Analysis Workshop for secondary teachers has been developed and will be held via webinar in September 2020. 

Charlie and Poster
Dr. Charlie Nicolet, DNA Technologies Core Director, explains a bioinformatics research poster resulting from work on lettuce genomics in the Michelmore Lab.

Applied Biotechnology and Bioinformatics Training for High School Teachers (NSF DUE 0603481, 2006 - 2011) 

Led by PI Jeffery O'Neal (American River College), Co-PI Judith Kjelstrom (UC Davis), Co-PI Carey Kopay (UC Davis, 2006), Co-PI Ken Kubo (American River College), and Co-PI Kelly McDonald (American River College), this award for $391,585, supported the development and implementation of summer workshops for high school teachers interested in incorporating biotechnology and bioinformatics modules in their courses. Denneal Jamison-McClung (Sacramento State, 2006; UC Davis, 2007-present) served as lead instructor, developing the content and teaching the series of one week summer workshops. Program coordination and administrative support were provided by personnel in the UC Davis Biotechnology Program (Marianne Hunter, Madeline Osborn, Linda Bates and Demian Sainz) and North Valley Biotechnology Program (Lynda Phoenix and Christa Clark, American River College) offices.

Project Summary

"The goals of the Applied Biotechnology and Bioinformatics Training program are to (1) create a one-week summer professional development workshop that trains high school teachers to develop and integrate computer-based biotechnology/bioinformatics learning activities into their existing courses, (2) provide teachers with biotechnology/bioinformatics-related job shadowing opportunities, (3) create real-world, scenario-based biotechnology/bioinformatics learning activities that connect into careers in science, (4) develop an internship program that provides prospective science teachers with technology-based biotechnology teaching experiences in actual high school science classrooms, and (5) increase high school student access to and use of computers in biology and life science courses. A curriculum will be disseminated online."


Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics for Community College Faculty (NSF DUE 0302940, 2003 - 2007)

Dr. Jeffery O'Neal
Dr. Jeffery O'Neal, Director of the North Valley and Mountain Biotechnology Center at American River College, served as the PI for the NSF ATE awards from 2003 - 2011.

Led by PI Jeffery O'Neal (American River College), Co-PI Judith Kjelstrom (UC Davis), Co-PI Ken Kubo (American River College), Co-PI Martina Newell-McGloughlin (UC Davis, 2003), Co-PI Stephanie Tatum Murphy (UC Davis) and Co-PI Lori Smith (American River College), this award for $262,883, supported the development and implementation of summer workshops for community college instructors developing new bioinformatics courses or incorporating modules into existing courses. Denneal Jamison-McClung served as lead instructor, developing the content and teaching the series of one-week, summer workshops, including coordination of guest lectures (Sacramento State, 2004-2006; UC Davis, 2007).  Key team members who contributed to the publication of the resulting teaching guide were Ken Kubo, Carey Kopay and Denneal Jamison-McClung.  Program coordination and administrative support were provided by personnel in the UC Davis Biotechnology Program and North Valley Biotechnology Program (Lynda Phoenix, American River College) offices.

Project Summary

"This professional development project is improving the instructional capabilities of community colleges in genomic technologies and bioinformatics. The project combines an intensive five-day workshop with a subsequent online course and industry internship. The project includes conducting five-day summer workshops for instructors to learn the basics of informatics and biological applications. The workshop participants then participate in a semester-long online class in the fall to further enhance their knowledge and comfort level with bioinformatics. The following spring, the faculty participates in internships in local labs to use their new skills, work with real-world data and applications of the new technology, and form relationships with local bioinformatics scientists. Project products are community college faculty highly trained and prepared to train students for jobs in bioinformatics, accessible, relevant, and easily updateable instructional materials, and relationships with local bioinformaticists to provide support and consultation.

By training community college instructors, the project has a broad impact. Community colleges are the frontline of higher education and serve many more students than do four-year institutions, due to greater accessibility and lower costs. Through these instructors, we are impacting the greatest number of workforce-bound individuals possible. Based on class size at several community colleges, we estimate that this project is exposing an estimated 2,000 students to bioinformatics in a single school year. Courses, follow-up-services, instructional manuals and informational updates facilitate institutionalizing bioinformatics into the local community college curricula. We are targeting faculty from community colleges with proportionally higher populations of underrepresented groups. By training a cadre of faculty, this project is permanently impacting the capacity of the community colleges to teach bioinformatics, and create relationships among trained faculty, UC Davis personnel, and industry scientists."

Award Product
  • Ken Kubo, PhD.. "Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics for Community College Faculty: An Introductory Guide to Teaching Bioinformatics", 04/01/2005-03/31/2007, , Carey Kopay and Denneal Jamison-McClung 2006, "Kubo, K. (2006) Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics for Community College Faculty: An Introductory Guide to Teaching Bioinformatics. American River College, Sacramento, CA,".
Dr. Ken Kubo and Leeann O'Bear
Dr. Ken Kubo (American River College Biotechnology Program) and Leeann O'Bear (Sheldon High School Biotech Academy) work through the "Who's Your Daddy" paternity exercise, using CODIS allele frequencies, presented by Prof. Ruth Ballard (Department of Biological Sciences, Sacramento State University) as part of her guest lecture at SIABB2007.

Teaching Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics in Community Colleges (NSF DUE 0053291, 2000 - 2003)

Led by PI George Bruening (UC Davis Plant Pathology), Co-PI Judith Kjelstrom (UC Davis Biotechnology Program), Co-PI Martina Newell-McGloughlin (UC Davis Biotechnology Program, UC Systemwide Life Science Informatics Program, UC Systemwide Biotechnology Research and Education Program and Plant Pathology) and Co-PI Margaret Wilcox (UC Davis), this $150,000 award supported the development of a week-long, intensive workshop to introduce community college faculty to genomic technologies and informatics concepts. 

Project Summary

"This project is improving the instructional capabilities of community colleges in genomic technologies. The products of this project, through the efforts of and collaborations with community college instructors, are easily accessible and readily updated instructional materials as well as community college instructors who are prepared to use them. Previous efforts were extremely successful in helping to educate community college instructors on the basic technologies that impact biotechnology-related research and in helping them to integrate appropriate courses and laboratories into their curricula. This project is facilitating expansion of the work begun under the current program that established a regional coalition among community colleges and UC Davis focused on the development of educational activities in molecular biology, genomics, and related scientific disciplines. The program is developing core curriculum material for community college faculty in the areas of modern biotechnology, genomics, functional genomics, and bioinformatics. The program offers week-long summer institutes in Molecular Biology and Molecular Diagnostics in which the principles of molecular biology and molecular diagnostics and their application in biotechnology are introduced. A new institute titled Functional Genomics and bioinformatics is being initiated. Bioinformatics is a very timely and appropriate topic for community colleges as it builds on the present and expanding skills in molecular biology, which our previous efforts have helped to foster, and on the computer science emphasis already in place at most community colleges. It is clear that there will be many career opportunities for graduates with bioinformatics training in the new millennium. Texts, manuals, laboratory kits, and other instructional materials are being made available for community college and high school instructors. Where possible, material is downloadable from the program web site to allow easy access and rapid dissemination."

1996 Recombinant DNA Workshop
The July 1996 Introduction to Recombinant DNA Workshop instructors and participants in Room 122 Briggs Hall, UC Davis. Co-director Dr. Martina Newell-McGloughlin is third from the left. Biotech Program Director Emerita, Dr. Judy Kjelstrom is at the back, center (blue shirt). Dr. Jeffery O'Neal, longtime collaborator and administrator at American River College and the Los Rios Community College District is directly to the left of Judy (tallest).

Introduction to Molecular Biology and Molecular Diagnostics: Continuing Education for Community College Science Faculty (NSF DUE 9455068, 1995 - 2000)

Led by PI George Bruening (UC Davis Plant Pathology), Co-PI Lawrence Harshman (University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Biological Sciences), Co-PI Kathryn McFarland, Co-PI Martina Newell-McGloughlin (UC Davis Biotechnology Program) and Co-PI Robert Tait, this award for $450,000 supported the development of  two week-long, intensive summer workshops to introduce molecular biology and molecular diagnostics to community college faculty, enhancing their ability to teach new topics in biotechnology to their students. 

Project Summary

"This is a proposal for multi-year funding in support of an integrated and expanded instructional program for community college faculty. The proposal will introduce molecular biology and molecular diagnostics as continuing education. The proposed program will continue to offer the week-long summer institute in molecular biology and add to that a new summer institute in molecular diagnostics in which the principles of molecular biology find applications in several areas of biotechnology. In addition, it will expand follow-up program services and other participant contacts with university faculty and industry researchers. Internships for community college faculty will continue as a part of the program."