The Gene Educator Training Series

The Gene Educator Training Series


Join WXXI Education for a series of 3 trainings connected to Ken Burns' The Gene: An Intimate History.

The Gene: An Intimate History weaves together science, history and personal stories for a historical biography of the human genome, while also exploring breakthroughs for diagnosis and treatment of genetic diseases — and the complex ethical questions they raise. WXXI Education is hosting a series of three trainings for middle and high school educators to explore genomics and learn about educational resource available to support and integrate into their learning settings. WXXI Education will be joined by local genomic experts from University of Rochester's Genomics Research Center and Rochester Institute of Technology's Genomics Lab. Educators are welcome to participate in all three sessions or select which session(s) they'd like to attend.

Important information for all three trainings:

  • Who: Appropriate for educators who serve middle and high school level students. Educators can include: classroom teachers, librarians, after-school and out-of-school staff, recreation and park staff, homeschooling edudcators, and more. 
  • Where: All sessions will be hosted via Zoom.
  • Registration: To register for individual sessions, please click the links below. Registration is being done via Eventbrite. Once registered, you will receive a Zoom link for the session. Each session has a unique Zoom link. All sessions are free and open, but registration is required. 
  • Certificates of Training/Professional Development Credits: All participants will receive a certificate of training for each session showing their participation and the certificate will show NYS CTLE credit hours. 

Training #1: The Gene: An Intimate History Overview
In this workshop, attendees will learn about Ken Burns' The Gene documentary. Participants will explore learning setting-appropriate clips from the four-hour documentary that weaves together science, history, and personal stories to create a historical biography of the human genome. Educators will learn about resources available to them from The Gene PBS LearningMedia Collection that cover topics from the documentary, such as the rapid evolution of genetic science from Gregor Mendel’s groundbreaking experiment in the 19th century to CRISPR, daunting ethical challenges that DNA technologies pose for humankind, treatments and access related to genetic diseases, and more. 

Training #2: DNA & Electrophoresis with UR Genomics Research Center
Join WXXI Education a special guests, Dr. Elizabeth Pritchett and Dr. Jeffrey Malik, from University of Rochester's Genomics Research Center. The UR Genomics Research Center (GRC) is a core resource that supports all aspects of genomics research at the University of Rochester and the James P. Wilmot Cancer Institute.

Dr. Pritchett and Dr. Malik will be joining this session to share what the Genomics Research Center does and the basics of DNA and electrophoresis. They will be leading a hands-on demonstration creating a gel electrophoresis chamber with easy to access items. This session will also discuss additional ways for educators to connect genomics with today’s young people – through books, personal stories, news/current events, and more. WXXI share lesson plans and media resources available from The Gene PBS LearningMedia Collection, as well as relevant current events and news stories that connect to genomics researc and the stories highlighted in The Gene.

Special thank you to our partner on this training

Training #3: DNA Extraction & Gene Talk with RIT Genomics Lab

Join WXXI Education and a special guest, Dr. André Hudson, from RIT’s Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences and Genomics Lab. Dr. Hudson is a trained biochemist and in addition to running his research lab, he teaches courses in genomics, plant biochemistry and pathology, molecular biology, and microbiology.

Dr. Hudson will be sharing his love of music and science in this fun talk about DNA. His "Gene Talk" will provide ideas for educators looking to excite young people around the topic of genomics by using an analogy about how music is stored and produced to explain DNA as an information storage molecule. Dr. Hudson will also be demonstrating how to extract DNA from strawberries using simple household items. Educators are encouraged to participate in the demonstration and will receive a materials list ahead of the session so they can try it at home. WXXI will showcase resources available to them from The Gene PBS LearningMedia Collection, including “The Gene Explained for Those without Microscopes,” an animated series created to introduce and bring younger students into the topics.

 Specal thank you to our partner on this training

Learn more about the resources available from The Gene at WXXI's Educator Resources Hub.

Production funding for KEN BURNS PRESENTS THE GENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY has been provided by Genentech, 23andMe, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Gray Foundation, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) & Conquer Cancer Foundation, Judy and Peter Blum Kovler Foundation, Craig and Susan McCaw Foundation, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Outreach and Education Partner is National Institutes of Health, National Human Genome Research Institute. Outreach support is provided by Foundation Medicine.