Genetic Technologies for Alabama Classrooms (GTAC) is a two-week teacher academy designed to help Alabama educators more effectively teach genetics by updating content knowledge, identifying common student misconceptions and gaining familiarity with hands-on genetic activities and classroom tools. Participants will interact with researchers studying genetic influences in cancer, neurological disorders and infectious diseases, and tour biotechnology companies dedicated to improving diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Educators chosen to attend the academy will receive room, board and a stipend as well as a collection of materials and resources related to genetics and biotechnology. This is an excellent opportunity for a life science teacher that seeks to update an understanding of genetic concepts and their application to healthcare, agriculture and energy.



Equip Alabama secondary school educators to more effectively teach genetics.



  1. Update the genetics content knowledge of educators.
  2. Help secondary school educators describe and identify common student misconceptions in genetics, genomics and biotechnology, and identify approaches to overcome them.
  3. Distribute a tool kit of genetics-related materials.
  4. Promote the use of hands-on genetics activities.



  1. Construct a conceptual pathway for genetics, genomics and biotechnology useful to secondary school biology educators that incorporates all relevant COS objectives.
  2. Model appropriate connections between genetics, genomics and biotechnology concepts and real-world applications.
  3. Provide educators the opportunity to experience at least four scientific talks by biotechnology researchers or industry executives.
  4. Organize tours of at least three facilities conducting biotechnology related work.
  5. Conduct at least five hands-on activities that reinforce genetics, genomics and biotechnology content useful at the high school level.
  6. Reduce content knowledge gaps in secondary biology educators via active lectures, laboratory experiences and discussions.
  7. Enroll each participant as a member of NABT and ASTA for one year.
  8. Overview misconception theory and provide evidence for common student misconceptions in genetics, genomics and biotechnology.
  9. Demonstrate strategies to replace student misconceptions tied to COS objectives.
  10. Reduce the misconceptions among teachers related to genetics, genomics and biotechnology.
  11. Increase the number of secondary school educators who access and use ASIM modules in genetics, genomics and biotechnology Engage educators in the theory and practice of learning by doing.

Genetic Technologies for Alabama Classrooms (GTAC) is made possible through support from the State of Alabama.