The Smithsonian Science Education Center was developed in collaboration with the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP). Biotechnology! How can we ethically shape a sustainable future with biotechnology?, a new community research guide for teens ages 11-18. Based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, it aims to help young people appreciate the potential of biotechnology while identifying the best ways to manage risks and concerns, ultimately taking action to solve problems in their local community.
In this guide, young people explore the question, “How can we use biotech innovations to advance our community in a sustainable and ethical way?” The guide features new research, activities and perspectives from subject matter experts across a range of fields, from biosecurity to medicine and food systems. It integrates inquiry-based science education with social and emotional learning and civic engagement. Students develop tailored solutions to the challenges in their community and contribute to a more sustainable planet.
“As youth around the world engage with their communities, they may be asking many questions: How do we use technology to treat disease, develop food, and protect ourselves? How do we ensure these advances are fair and ethical?” said Carol O’Donnell, director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center. “This Community Response Guide encourages young people to discover, understand and act on sustainable approaches to complex issues and effect change in their own communities. It is an important step in the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s efforts to create and promote a transdisciplinary approach to STEM education for sustainable development, consistent with the Smithsonian Institution’s mission to advance life on a sustainable planet.”
As a companion of Biotechnology! guide, the Smithsonian Science Education Center is publishing a new e-book, Stories of Women in STEM – Biotechnology. The latest entry in the Stories of Women in STEM e-book series, this new e-book features biographies of groundbreaking women who made history through their scientific discoveries and innovations in biotechnology. From biochemist and Nobel laureate Jennifer Doudna to Kenyan plant researcher Felister Makini, the e-book examines the role women have played in the advancement of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“It’s so important as a young girl to see yourself in the role models around you and in the stories you read,” O’Donnell said. “If you can see yourself in others, then you will believe that you can too. I hope when young people read the stories of these amazing women in biotechnology they can ‘see’ their future selves and strive to be the best they can be.”
The Smithsonian Science Education Center will distribute the free guide and e-book to youth worldwide in partnership with the InterAcademy Partnership.
Biotechnology! How can we ethically shape a sustainable future with biotechnology? and stories of women in STEM – biotechnology are made possible by the support of Johnson & Johnson.
About the Smithsonian Science Education Center
The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) is transforming K-12 education through science in partnership with communities around the world. SSEC is recognized nationally and internationally for the quality of its programs and its impact on K-12 science education. Visit the SSEC website and follow SSEC Twitter and Facebook.
About the InterAcademy partnership
Under the umbrella of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), more than 140 national, regional and global member academies work together to support the critical role of science in finding evidence-based solutions to the world’s toughest problems. Specifically, IAP harnesses the expertise of the world’s leading scientists, medical professionals and engineers to drive sound policies that improve public health, promote excellence in science education and other important development goals. See www.interacademies.org and follow IAP on Twitter and YouTube.
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