Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program funds innovative
informal science education projects for pre-kindergarten through grade 12. By encouraging interactive partnerships between biomedical and clinical researchers and educators, schools, and other interested organizations, SEPA provides opportunities to:
Here are free, easy-to-access, SEPA-funded resources that educators can use to engage their students in science.
Teach students about all infectious diseases with this in-depth learning module. Credit: Tufts University, Center for Science Education.
ASSET, produced by Cornell University, provides education materials that stimulate hands-on, inquiry-based learning of biology. Each lab module features living Tetrahymena, a single-celled protozoan that’s safe and easy to grow and work with. Students cultivate samples of this organism in lab exercises to learn about topics such as chemotaxis, microevolution,
organelle growth and regeneration, and
effects of vaping. Downloadable teacher guides and student activity sheets are also available.
Biology of Human, from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, helps students and the public better understand advances in biomedical research relating to human biology. This program seeks to increase awareness of and interest in new biomedical research developments, and their importance to people's health and communities. Resources include
lessons, and other curricula with accompanying teaching guides, videos, and additional learning materials.
FoodMASTER (Food, Math, and Science Teaching Enhancement Resource), created by Northern Illinois University, is a compilation of hands-on and virtual programs that use food to teach math and science skills. Subjects include biology, chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, and health, as well as math concepts such as numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, and problem-solving.
Created by Tufts scientists and Boston Public School teachers,
The Great Diseases engages students with the science behind their real-world experiences. The program also aims to increase students' analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as improve their health literacy. Curriculum materials for each module include a teacher primer and lesson plans, classroom materials for each lesson, and unit assessments. Teachers must
request access to download materials.
Learn.Genetics, produced by the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah, provides articles, videos, and interactives on cells, epigenetics, gene therapy, and precision medicine, among other topics. Resources include:
This interactive helps put the size of many biological structures in context. Students can zoom in from the scale of a coffee bean all the way down to a carbon atom. Along the way, they also see bacteria, a range of human cells, a chromosome, a flu virus, and more.
In this virtual laboratory, students learn about some uses of DNA extraction. They also perform a cheek swab and extract DNA from human cells.
This brief video introduces students to the epigenome and explains how it influences DNA.
From Oregon Health & Science University, Let's Get Healthy! provides teachers and students with online access to community-specific research data generated from an education and research exhibit. These teaching resources explore different aspects of healthy choices, chronic diseases, advocacy, epigenetics, research ethics, and development, among other subjects.
The Partnership in Education at Duquesne University specializes in using cutting-edge technologies and creative media platforms—including videos, apps, posters, and lesson plans—to bring science to life and inspire lifelong learning. Resources include:
How much sleep should you get? What happens when you're sleeping? What happens if you don't get enough sleep? In this interactive reading experience about sleep, circadian rhythms, and health, students help a young girl answer these questions so she can convince her mom to let her stay up late for CityHacks, a cool coding club that she wants to join.
In this interactive reading experience about concussions, sports, and brain health, students travel along as a BMX-rider uncovers the truth about concussions to help his twin sister get back on the basketball court.
In this free interactive experience, students learn about Charles Darwin, the naturalist, geologist, and leading contributor to the fundamental principles of evolution. Students select from a list of questions to ask a virtual Darwin and receive insight into various topics.
Players of this interactive follow a typical teen named Benji to help him beat his acne breakouts and learn about the immune system. Features include colorful, comic-style storytelling; scientific content about the immune system and its functions; challenging and fun gameplay; and links to supplementary reading materials about the immune system.
This mindfulness exercise video can help to calm overwhelming emotions and the racing heartbeat associated with them. The activity doesn't require any materials and takes just a few minutes for students to complete.
Students learn about how different living things grow and develop through the story of a student who has to write an essay for his science class. The essay is on growth and development, but he just doesn’t understand what’s interesting about how we grow. That is, until his room starts to come to life.
cell and growth curriculum.
Travel along on a richly animated, dreamy bedtime story and explore the wonders of the immune system through the eyes of a 7-year-old who has just been diagnosed with Type 1 juvenile diabetes.
immune system curriculum.
This downloadable board game is designed for two to four players who use their brains and the white blood cell “money” in their “blood bank” to fight 11 common diseases. As players move around the game board, they encounter viruses and bacteria while learning more about the immune system, vaccines, antibiotics, and steps to prevent the spread of disease such as COVID-19.
The PlayPads project is produced by the University of California, Berkeley, Lawrence Hall of Science, in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco, Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland. This suite of mobile apps fosters healthy habits among families visiting children’s hospitals, and others who are interested. Free apps for iOS and Android devices include:
Families and educators investigate and learn about the human body at home, at school, or anywhere with 13 easy-to-use, hands-on activities, plus videos and more. Available in English and Spanish.
This interactive, first-person, educational story follows a young teenage girl who discovers that she has type 2 diabetes. Told in a real-world setting, this app focuses on the symptoms, remediation, and social aspects of the disease.
Students explore the cardiovascular system and how healthy living affects it. In this educational adventure, students must help diagnose a friendly, three-eyed monster and assist him on his path to a healthier life. Available in English and Spanish.
This fast-paced activity provides the starting point needed to build healthy meals using simple, readily available, and nutritious ingredients. Students require quick thinking and even quicker fingers as they race against the clock to sort through an array of ingredients and construct healthy recipes.
From the department of genetics at Harvard Medical School,
pgEd provides interactive lessons for educators to engage students in discussions of ethics and personal genetics. Subjects including biology, health, social studies, physical education, and psychology. All lesson plans contain background reading for teachers and students; classroom activities; discussion points; in some cases, a slide presentation or video clip; and an evaluation. Lessons can stand alone or be taught as a unit.
From the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine,
this program lets veterinarians and veterinary students help kids learn about all the careers in this field and how they can prevent and treat health conditions that impact both people and their animals. Resources include the
Healthy Animals! Healthy People! (this resource is free but requires users to set up an account) and online picture books in both English and Spanish.
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