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How To Use Real World Issues to Illustrate Biology In Your Classroom

How To Use Real World Issues to Illustrate Biology In Your Classroom

Location: Education Office

Presented by: Susan Musante and Brian Shmaefsky

Event took place on Thursday, March 25, 2010
Duration: 90 minutes

This webinar is the third in a series of webinars offered by AIBS, NABT, UCMP, and IBP to support the community of educators teaching introductory biology. Each webinar in the series will offer information about a great teaching resource or pedagogical technique and provide the opportunity to interact with resource providers and your colleagues about successful teaching strategies.

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Webinar Description

How can issue-based activities make science come alive for students? How do issues reflect our changing world? How can issues illustrate how the process of science works? In the first part of the web seminar, participants will explore how to use the peer-reviewed, bilingual web site (English and Spanish),, to incorporate issues into their teaching and extend the site's resources to activities that examine the process of science. The site's articles are organized into major subject themes that are of pressing scientific and societal impact: biodiversity, the environment, evolution, biotechnology, and genomics. A "new frontiers" section encompasses a variety of other topics at science's growing points, and an education section addresses advances in teaching. In part two, discussion will focus on how to teach with issues and cases in ways that foster critical thinking and make connections to students' daily lives. Worksheets and resource lists will be provided. This webinar is designed for high school biology teachers and educators of college introductory bioscience courses.

About the presenters

Susan Musante

Susan Musante

Susan Musante is education programs manager at the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS, She has a B.S. in Biology from Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, and an M.A.Ed. in science education from Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC. For eight years she taught science in both the outdoor/informal setting as well as in the middle school classroom. For the past ten years Musante has been involved in biology education reform efforts as a staff member of three professional societies, first at the Ecological Society of America, then at the American Society for Microbiology, and now with AIBS. She has managed professional development events, coordinated meetings and conferences on biology education, facilitated programs to engage students in biology careers, and worked with others to develop and evaluate digital learning resources, all to reach the larger goals of increasing student interest, understanding, and enthusiasm for biology.

Brian R. Shmaefsky, Ph.D.

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Brian R. Shmaefsky, Ph.D., is a professor of biology at Lonestar College in Kingwood, Texas. He completed his master's and doctoral studies at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Dr. Shmaefsky also completed graduate work in environmental physiology at University of Illinois and Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. His research emphasis is in environmental toxicology issues and sustainable development. He has published books on topics such as biotechnology, human anatomy and physiology, and infectious diseases, including the popular "Biotechnology 101" (Greenwood Press, 2006). He is the President Elect of the Society for College Science Teachers.

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