Hot Topics Workshops

The Institute for School Partnership works with Washington University in St. Louis faculty and local teacher leaders to offer one-day professional development workshops for science teachers in emerging areas of research. Materials are available for hands-on investigations for grades six to 12.


Biological Self-Organization

Life, from molecular to ecological scales, depends on the arrangement of components into specific patterns. Explore how biological patterns emerge dynamically through interactions between lower-level components, without an underlying template or blueprint.
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Biomass Energy

Discover a hands-on exploration of biomass energy technologies.
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Genetic Circuits

Bacteria can be programmed to perform logic, similar to the logical functions performed by computers. A genetic circuit allows bacteria to respond to environmental signals in a logically programmed manner. Explore how genetic circuits are constructed, how they function, and how they can be harnessed for practical use.
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Movement ecology

How and why animals move through space is fundamental to all areas of their life history, ecology and conservation. Animals can now be tracked for years on end with very high precision. Explore movement ecology within the research context of the St. Louis Box Turtle Project and the Galapagos Tortoise Movement Ecology Programme.
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Personal genetics

What can an analysis of your DNA reveal about you, your family history, and your health? What might easy access to information about your genes mean for you and for society as a whole? Explore the potential benefits and implications of the fast-approaching world of personal genetics.
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Solar Energy

Investigate how the sun’s energy is captured and transferred into usable forms of energy.
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Synthetic biology

Increasing concerns about the global petroleum supply require sustainable solutions for the production of fuels, chemicals, and materials that are currently derived from petroleum. Engineering microbes for the bioproduction of these compounds is very attractive because it allows the conversion of renewable and low-cost feedstocks (e.g. cellulosic biomass, simple sugars) into products through a “green” process. Synthetic biology is a fascinating and rapidly growing field that allows researchers to engineer biology using engineering concepts.

Wind Energy

Help students investigate wind energy and its useful applications.
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Weather and Climate Change

Currently in development