Genetics is one of the most challenging subjects to teach in Chicago Public School high schools. To address this need, the Silverstein Genetics Curriculum was developed with funds from the Center for Genetic Medicine Silverstein Endowment. This month-long curriculum was developed in collaboration with biology teacher Laura Decker from Wendell Phillips High School on the near south side of Chicago. It incorporates key concepts including authentic research techniques and ethics in genetics.
In this program, high school students undertake a genetics case study, learning about a hereditary health disorder and used DNA-based laboratory diagnostics to determine the likelihood of mutation in the fictional patient with support from Science in Society and visiting scientists and faculty. Afterward, students assessed risk around potential mutations, and examined the legal ramifications of genetic testing on employment, focusing on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Students also hear from Feinberg School of Medicine genetic counselors about real world applications of genetic testing.
Read more about this program and the students involved.