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Geneticist - Educator Network of Alliances (GENA)



Scientists in the Classroom


What is science outreach?
What do geneticists who participate in education outreach do?
What are the benefits of outreach?

Science outreach generally refers to the involvement of practicing scientists in educating the broader community outside of their institutions. Science outreach can take the form of visiting high school classrooms to give guest lectures, host career discussions, or mentor students on lab projects or other activities. If you are interested in this level of engagement, please see our GEON program. Or it can include longer-term and more substantive interactions with K-12 teachers, such as the GENA project. It can also include judging science fairs, giving public lectures or Science Cafes, or hosting teachers or students in your lab during the summer to give them research opportunities.

The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) conducted the Geneticist-Educator Network of Alliances (GENA) project from 2007-2010, supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. This project brought geneticists and teachers together in partnerships for long-term collaborations, and it provided sustainable infrastructure to support meaningful outreach by scientists in high school classrooms.


The profiles in this pamphlet describe the experiences of five geneticists who were participants in the GENA project. All are different in terms of their motivation for joining GENA, what their expectations were, and what they actually gained from their involvement.  The focus of the project – and these profiles – is on the benefits for the scientists, although there were benefits for the teachers and students.
The experiences of these five individuals will answer the questions posed above: what education outreach looks like, what scientists actually do, and what benefits the scientists realize.





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