The following comes from a National Research Council committee on STEM learning and competitiveness:
The primary drive of the future economy and concomitant creation of jobs will be innovation, largely derived from advances in science and engineering….4 percent of the nation’s workforce is composed of scientists and engineers; this group disproportionately creates jobs for the other 96 percent.
I’ve been reading up on K-12 Science teaching recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences. The following is from a 2007 document, Ready, Set, Science!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms (National Academies Press).
Four Reasons to Teach Science Well
A democracy demands that its citizens make personal, community-based, and national decisions that involve scientific information.
For some students, science will become a lifelong vocation or avocation.
p>Another good reference from this publication:
Four Strands of Science Learning
Strand 1: Understanding Scientific Explanations
Strand 2: Generating Scientific Evidence
Strand 3: Reflecting on Scientific Knowledge
Strand 4: Participating Productively in Science
Types of Support Teachers Need to Teach Science Well:
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
NCBI’s BLAST service
The Protein DataBank
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.