Snapshots is Changing
Snapshots will change dramatically in the coming months. It will be published three times during the school year, and each issue will focus on single area of research. In addition to four professionally-written articles, each issue will have a package of materials for teachers to help integrate Snapshots smoothly into the classroom, as well as a package of materials and activities for students.
The schedule for the coming school year is:
|October 1, 1999 ||Xenotransplantation: Using Animal Parts for Human Transplants |
|January 15, 2000 ||DNA Chip Technology: Biochemisty Meets the Silicon Chip |
|April 15, 2000 ||Edible Vaccines: Engineering Fruits to Block Human Disease |
So, to give more detail, each issue will contain these four types of articles:
- Research in the News: A summary of the latest laboratory results pertaining to the featured topic, with a discussion of what they mean and why they are important.
- People Doing Science: Profiles of researchers and other professionals involved in the featured research.
- Story of Discovery: A brief history of the scientific advances that led to the most recent findings for the featured research.
- Social Impact: A short article or two exploring the ethical, legal, social, or scientific implications of the featured research.
In addition, each issue will also contain student activities and a package of materials to help teachers use Snapshots in their classes. These other components will include:
A guided Internet search on the theme topic. Written by a skilled Internet navigator, this component will be a tutorial or "master class" on how to find information on the Web, using the theme topic as the example du jour. The end result will be a list of Web links pertaining to the topic.
Opportunities for contact with the scientists doing the featured research. Snapshots will create opportunities for students across the country to pose questions via e-mail (and perhaps live chat) directly to scientists doing the featured research, and other people featured in the profiles.
A brief fact summary and review--a very short summary/outline of the basic facts needed to understand the theme topic.
Junior Science Journalism: Writing about science is a great way to learn about both science and writing. Students will be asked to write fact and opinion pieces and submit them to Snapshots, with the promise that the best ones will be published on the Snapshots Web site--and maybe win a small amount of money as well. Some topics that student's could write about might include:
- Profiles of local researchers or other people doing science on the job.
- News stories about recent research, based on published material or any personal contacts the student might develop independently.
- Position pieces on social and ethical issues raised by the theme topic.
- Reviews of recent books or movies with a biomedical connection.
- Discussion of an issue recently faced by the IRB of a local research institution.
- Reports of student-conducted research.
Teachers' Package of materials designed to help teachers use Snapshots in a classroom setting, that will include:
- Additional scientific background information
- Sample classroom plans for using Snapshots (in "light," "heavy," and "3-day seminar" versions)
- Planned classroom activities, about both the science involved and the social impact issues
- Links between each issue of Snapshots and specific NAS Standards
- Visual aids
We hope you find the new Snapshots to be a useful teaching tool. If you have any thoughts on how to make this project better, please write to Robert Taylor, the Snapshots editor, at TaylorR1@od.nih.gov
In older news: Stories of Discovery Have Arrived!
Most people think science often moves ahead by dramatic "breathrough" leaps forward. In fact, scientific progress is usually much more like a war of attrition than a smashing blitzkreig assault. Our first two "Stories of Discovery" present the bare bones of two long medical campaigns. The first outlines how the very old fantasy of using animal organs and tissues to make sick people whole is becoming a modern reality. The second sketches how researchers created a vaccine against the deadly Hemophilus influenzae bacterium, which in years past routinely killed and maimed thousands of children in this country each year.
People Are Still Doing Science
We have two new faces in the "People Doing Science" section of Snapshots. One profiles Jose Vargas, a new Rhodes Scholar (and alumnus of the NIH undergraduate research program) who came to America in 1990 from the Dominican Republic. The other is about Clifton Barry, a young tuberculosis researcher on the NIH campus who has a passion for birds, and all things natural.
Please give these stories a look, and tell us what you think. Fill out our Questions and Comments form, or e-mail the Snapshots editor at TaylorR1@od.nih.gov.