Sometimes, great resources can be almost in your backyard. Luckily, these days great resources can be almost anywhere and only a webpage away! In August 2018 I posted a Bio-Link blog about new resources at the Allen Institute, and now I want to tell you about education resources they have available for free! The Allen Institute is a leader in large-scale research and committed to sharing what they learn with the world. They are located in Seattle, Washington, where the teams at the institute investigate the inner workings of the brain, explore structures and functions in our cells, delves into the processes our bodies use to fight disease, and push the limits of our scientific understanding in so many ways. In addition, the Allen Institute is committed to helping the scientific community through sharing research and education resources. Their resources for teachers include posters and lesson plans to help high school and college biology instructors seeking to provide real research experiences for their students.
On their education-outreach webpage they have posted two lesson plans that could be great additions to a syllabus. The first plan, entitled "The Building Blocks of the Brain", uses real data to strengthen students' understanding of neuroanatomy and genetics in the brain. Students must evaluate types of data, data interpretation and even experimental design.
The second lesson plan, entitled "Mitosis and Microscopy", explains mitosis with drawn images, plant cells, and high resolution microscopy data. Both plans come with learning objectives, Next Generation Science Standards and Advanced Placement alignments, a teacher guide, suggested timing, and lesson materials.
The education-outreach webpage also has a link to sign up to request a free poster, and to keep up to date with future research and resources from the Allen Institute. I know I am looking forward to watching for what they do next!