The iXplore Biotechnology Education and Resource Program (Bio-Tech Ed) provides educators with professional development and training in biotechnology and the resources needed to implement 21st century genetics curricula — Teaching the Genome Generation (TtGG) and Maine Barcode of Life (MBOL).
Bio-Tech Ed trains teachers during professional development programs or in the classroom during the academic year. Participants learn how to use a variety of biotechnologies including DNA extraction methods, gene amplification (PCR), DNA sequencing, and genetic engineering. Teachers also use bio-informatics tools to analyze the genetic code.
The TtGG curriculum (developed by Jackson Lab, Bar Harbor, ME) examines human genetics and genomics through the lens of precision medicine and introduces the bioethical concerns surrounding genetic testing. The MBOL curriculum (developed by IXplore) uses biotechnology, called DNA barcoding, to identify and classify organisms based on their genetic code. Barcoding projects allow students to study the changing biodiversity within their local environment, investigate food fraud, and identify native and invasive species. Students publish their results in the BOLDsystems.org database, which catalogs and tracks organisms around the globe.
Teachers who complete training gain access to Mobile Laboratory Kits and supplies (at no cost) for their classrooms and receive additional classroom support as needed.