Jodie Spitze at Xconomy says that "bioinformatics education should start in high school." Spitze, a high school science teacher, notes that most of her students who excel in science and math are interested in pursuing careers in human and veterinary medicine. In an effort to get students interested in basic discovery research, Spitze emphasizes that one of the most exciting advances in science is the merger of biology and technology. "What is especially exciting is that this technology is available to all, including high school students," she writes. As a teacher, Spitze says she worries whether she's "doing enough to prepare my students for the careers that await them." But programs such as the National Science Foundation's Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers are a big help. "Just seeing a scientist that looks like them can be enough to allow some students to envision themselves in similar careers," she says of the effectiveness of programs like the Bio-ITEST Bioinformatics Workshop.
Sep 09, 2010