Enhancing Biology Teaching Using Biological Databases
EMBL-EBI Hinxton, 8 - 10 March 2010
Techniques such as high-throughput sequencing and other data-rich research methods are contributing to a huge amount of biological data being produced by researchers. In order to make sense of this data, computer-based analysis methods are required and this has generated the field of bioinformatics. EMBL-EBI is a centre of expertise on how to process, store, analyse and make biological data available to researchers around the world through the provision of data resources. The number and range of biological data resources can be bewildering but once familiar with the resources and the data they hold, the use of biological databases gives teachers and students the opportunity to use real scientific data and analysis tools to visualise and learn about biological concepts. Use of web-based user interfaces also helps support the development of effective ICT skills. This LearningLAB will provide an interactive introduction to the field of bioinformatics, a central part of modern biology that can be used effectively in the classroom to teach biological concepts. During the 2.5 day course, a combination of seminars, discussions and hands-on activities will:
- Introduce teachers to the different types of biological information that are stored in public databases, and how to find this information
- Explore the concept of genetic variation and how it can be used to trace evolutionary relationships between organisms
- Look at human variation and its link with disease
- Illustrate a range of classroom activities and equip teachers to use the freely available bioinformatics resources to support their teaching of biology.
- Different types of biological data and how to access them using the web
- Evolution, the origin of species and using biological sequence to make comparisons
- Understanding human variation and the impact of genetic variation on our susceptibility to disease.
- An introduction to bioinformatics Hands-on, computer-based activities for direct use in the classroom:
- Exploring genomes – a treasure hunt on the Internet. A step-by-step guide to using different bioinformatics databases and tools to identify a mystery DNA sequence
- DNA to Darwin activities developed by the UK National Centre for Biotechnology Education
- Introduction to structure and function of haemoglobin
- Small changes = big effects. Discover the amount of variation in the human genome by comparing the genome sequences from two individuals Genetic variation and disease.
Educational Games - An introduction to bioinformatics
Hands-on, computer-based activities for direct use in the classroom
Exploring genomes – a treasure hunt on the Internet. A step-by-step guide to using different bioinformatics databases and tools to identify a mystery DNA sequence DNA to Darwin activities developed by the UK National Centre for Biotechnology Education (http://www.ncbe.reading.ac.uk/) Introduction to structure and function of haemoglobin Small changes = big effects. Discover the amount of variation in the human genome by comparing the genome sequences from two individuals Genetic variation and disease.
Dean Madden, National Centre for Biotechnology Education (NCBE), University of Reading, United Kingdom
Paul Flicek, EMBL-EBI, United Kingdom
Jan Korbel, EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
Aidan Budd, EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
tba, Public Engagement Programme, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, United Kingdom.
Holly Foster, EMBL-EBI, United Kingdom
Applications are now closed.
Registration deadline: Monday 8 February 2010
If you have been invited to register then your application has been reviewed and accepted and you have a place on the course. You are required to register to confirm your attendance and pay.
Confirmation and Payment
Please do not proceed with payment before your application has been accepted.
Registration Fee: £85 GBP
This fee includes predominately single room accommodation expenses for two nights, catering, course dinner in a Cambridge University college and course material. Some of the accommodation is a shared twin room. Accommodation for a third night is available but this must be specified when registering and paid by the course participant. Participants are expected to meet their own travel expenses.
We are pleased to offer three bursaries of £200 to assist with teaching cover, course registration and travel costs. All applicants must be active in teaching biology to 16-19 year old students. Candidates of any nationality may apply but must be resident and work in the EU and associated member states. Bursaries will be awarded on the basis of:
- explanation of the relevance of this course to your teaching;
- justification of use of the funds to support your attendance in the LearningLab;
- demonstration of involvement with national and international teaching networks and a commitment to sharing course materials through these.
To apply for a bursary, please submit a letter of application, which requires confirmation of support from your head of department or school/college head. During your registration you will be asked to indicate whether you wish to be considered for a bursary and will be asked to complete and submit a letter of application (a form with required fields is provided).
Only complete bursary applications received before the registration deadline of Monday 8 February 2010 will be considered. Selection will take place within one week of this date and successful applicants will be notified before 15 February 2010.
The course is open to all European high-school and further education science teachers. The activities featured are ideal for use with students aged between 16-19 years old but may also be applicable for younger students. Course attendees should be familiar with use of the Internet but no specialist computing skills are required.
The course will be run in English.
Number of Participants
The course will be open to 40 participants only.
Single and twin room accommodation is included in the registration fee for the default dates of 8 and 9 March 2010.
Rooms have been reserved at the Arundel House Hotel, Cambridge.
All additional nights (beyond the 2 nights paid by EMBL) will be charged extra (approx. £80 per night for single accommodation and £58 per person per night for twin accommodation, including dinner).
There will be shuttle buses running from the Arundel hotel to EMBL-EBI in Hinxton and back each day.
The meeting will take place at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI; IT Training Room), based on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton.
For instructions on how to reach the institute, please view the travel information,
Tour of Christ’s College Library and Darwin’s room
A tour of the current exhibition of Christ’s College Library, including Darwin-related exhibition items and Darwin’s College room is included in the course programme. During the registration procedure you will be asked to select whether you wish to attend the tour.
There will be a three course dinner held at St John’s College, Cambridge for all course participants. This is included in your registration fee.
During the registration procedure you will be asked to select whether you wish to attend the dinner.
For questions regarding the course content, please contact Louisa Wright, EMBL-EBI: email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: + 44 (0)1223 494665.
For general questions regarding registration, travel and accommodation, please contact Holly Foster, EMBL-EBI, email: email@example.com, phone: +44 (0)1223 492650.