Educational Outreach teaches genetics and genomics across Alabama and the country with Education kits

HudsonAlpha Educational Outreach is taking students’ comprehension to the next level, with the team’s educator-approved, hands-on kits. Educational Outreach has an arsenal of educational kits, with nine available for purchase right now.

These interactive kits provide engaging and memorable learning experiences through which students achieve a clearer understanding of genetics, genomics and biotechnology-related content. Each kit has a specific age group in mind, ranging from middle school to high school.

“We love thinking of creative ways to engage students in learning science,” Madelene Loftin, Director of Educator Professional Learning said. “Our kits are designed to enable teachers to better communicate genetics and genomics concepts, using storylines or settings that grab students’ attention. We’ve used everything from colorful beads, to socks, to goldfish stickers as a way to model life science processes.” 

The kits are distributed across Alabama through partnerships with the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative and Alabama Science in Motion. HudsonAlpha partners with Carolina Biological Supply Company, a leader in science education resources, for the promotion and distribution of these educational kits to classrooms around the world.

“The kits help HudsonAlpha Educational Outreach achieve its mission of educating students everywhere about science,” Madelene added. 

How a kit works: Gaudy Goldfish

Each kit comes with instructions and specifications, each one different from the other. We’re focusing on one of our newest middle school kits: Gaudy Goldfish

Goldfish are the most common aquarium fish in the world. Through thousands of years of selective breeding, they have produced a variety of physical characteristics and traits, some of which are very desirable amongst hobbyists, collectors and kids. Rare, unique and fancy goldfish can sell for thousands of dollars each. Through fun and impactful series of activities, students take on the role of goldfish breeders to investigate genetic phenotypes, analyze and interpret offspring data to determine inheritance patterns, and prepare a goldfish breeding plan. 

Teachers can challenge their students to ask their own questions and define problems, while analyzing and interpreting data to design and explain their solutions. Compete to find out which students will develop the most successful goldfish business. Using the included card sets featuring beautiful graphics, they have fun building their stock of fancy goldfish, all while learning the foundations of genetics. These high-quality materials can be used and reused in your classroom or at home for many years to come. 

This classroom kit is designed for 32 students working in groups of 4. FREE 1-year access to digital resources that support 3-dimensional instruction is also included.

“One of HudsonAlpha Educational Outreach’s goals is to inspire and train tomorrow’s bioscience workforce,” Kelly East, Vice President of Educational Outreach said. “We’re always adapting and looking for new ways to use hands-on activities to connect cutting edge scientific discovery to topics taught in the classroom.”

Today, these educational kits reach more than 50,000 Alabama students annually, thanks to the Alabama State Department of Education, AMSTI and ASiM. 

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