Online resources for STEM Education

I have spent countless hours online over the past few months looking for current resources available for educators or curious members of the public in bioinformatics and genomics. The offerings across the web are not overwhelming. One important need, I think, is a resource allowing teachers to show their class ways scientists use online biology resources everyday in their research.

First, here are the most important sites for discovery.

The Universal Protein Resource

http://www.uniprot.org/

NCBI’s BLAST service

http://blast.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

The Protein DataBank

http://www.rcsb.org/pdb/home/home.do

Unfortunately, these sites are virtually not usable by K-12 educators who don’t have a scientific background. My search began by looking at guidelines for teaching STEM in American schools and what resources are in place to help educators get children involved in the scientific process.

One great tool is the Gene Gateway which has activities and introduces web-based resources to research genes, proteins, and genetic disorders in humans. It is based on the DOE work in the Human Genome Project. DISCLAIMER: This resource was created by my predecessor and I am not affiliated with its work. However, my goal is to expand the Gateway. My background in microbiology and plant biology gives me a wealth of resources that I have used and want others to know and understand, including the websites listed above.