Using Biotechnology, CSI, and Zombies to Promote Science Education in one of America’s Most Challenging Regions

This paper examines the creation of a forensic biotechnology program that engages students, promotes science learning beyond the classroom and makes available novel STEM opportunities to an area which previously had little biotechnology educational offerings. Findings indicate improved student performance in comparisons with non-program students in the same school site as well as district and state. Students connect with core science concepts through the use of their existing interest in popular media topics such as Crime Scene Investigation and zombies. Highly motivated learners then have shared their engagement in STEM learning through numerous public science outreach efforts and vertical articulation from grades K to university promoting science education.


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