Biotech institute invites teachers from around the state to help shape future outreach
Huntsville, Ala. — Earlier this month, agriscience educators from nine Alabama counties met at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology to experience and critique exercises that may comprise the next phase of institute outreach efforts. The workshop and planning session focused on advances in genetics and biotechnology that impact plant and animal production.
“HudsonAlpha is a valuable resource for our teachers while they are incorporating applications of plant and animal genetics and genomics into their agriscience classrooms,” said Jacob Davis, education specialist and state FFA advisor at the Alabama Department of Education. “It was great to witness the discussions between the agriscience teachers and the HudsonAlpha education staff.”
Participants sampled hands-on exercises and other course-specific materials. Teachers shared thoughts on approaching topics ranging from traditional breeding and crossing practices to genetically modified organisms.
“Our programs create partnerships with educators, researchers and state leadership,” said Neil Lamb, Ph.D., vice president for educational outreach at HudsonAlpha. Lamb said the recent workshop is a first step toward including agriscience career and technical education to the institute’s offerings for professional enrichment.
Madelene Loftin, biotechnology education specialist at HudsonAlpha, welcomed discussion and feedback throughout the sessions. “It is invaluable as we develop classroom resources to deliver genetics, genomics and biotechnology content to Alabama’s career tech students.”
Lamb anticipates holding an agriscience teacher academy at HudsonAlpha next year.
Educators who participated in the recent workshop include :
- Jimmy Black, R.A. Hubbard High School, Lawrence County
- Robby Vinzant, Lawrence County High School, Lawrence County
- Michael Counts, Skyline High School, Jackson County
- Lee Champion, McAdory High School, Jefferson County
- Tim White, Ider High School, Dekalb County
- Byron Tuggle, Winston County High School
- Michael Anderson, Central High School, Clay County
- Joy Snellgrove, Demopolis High School, Marengo County
- Jenny Clark, Citronelle High School, Mobile County
- Jacob Davis, Alabama Department of Education, Montgomery County
Each high school teacher received a set of supplies for classroom use.
HudsonAlpha offers numerous educational programs and resources for life sciences educators, students and the general public. More information about educational outreach programs may be found here.
The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama, is the cornerstone of the Cummings Research Park Biotechnology Campus. The campus hosts a synergistic cluster of life sciences talent – science, education and business professionals – that promises collaborative innovation to turn knowledge and ideas into commercial products and services for improving human health and strengthening Alabama’s progressively diverse economy. The non-profit institute is housed in a state-of-the-art, 270,000 square-ft. facility strategically located in the nation’s second largest research park. HudsonAlpha has a three-fold mission of genomic research, economic development and educational outreach.