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Rutgers Will Use $3M in NSF Grants to Bring Genomics to NJ High Schools

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Rutgers University will use $3 million in a pair of National Science Foundation grants to pay for projects that aim to help teach genomics and bioinformatics at certain regional high schools, the New Jersey-based university said Saturday.
The programs will be run jointly by William Sofer and Andrew Vershon of Rutgers’ Waksman Institute of Microbiology, and will be part of the Waksman Student Scholars Program, begun in 1993.
One program, “Bioinformatics: Learning by Doing,” is a four-year project that will develop web-based tools and resources to allow students to conduct bioinformatics research using the university's DNA Sequence Analysis Program software.
In this program, students will participate in an “authentic research project” and publish their results, Sofer said in a statement.
The second program, called “HiGene: A Genome Sequencing Project for High Schools,” is a three-year effort that will involve summer programs at the Waksman Institute for 75 New Jersey teachers and 30 students on site, and around 300 New Jersey students who will engage in the program remotely.
This program is designed to “encourage and promote the use of the vast array of Internet-based tools that has been built up around the field of molecular biology over the past few decades, and lead teachers and their students to an understanding of how DNA sequence information is acquired and analyzed," Vershon said.
Rutgers also said that GE Healthcare's Life Sciences Business, which has been ”an active participant” in the WSSP, next year plans to expand the relationship with Rutgers by adding a mentor program and having high school science teachers come to GE Healthcare over the summer to learn about protein science.
Additional information can be found here.

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