Inspiring careers in STEM and genomics with new program

February 25, 2019 | Illumina Corporate Foundation/Discovery Education

Illumina Corporate Foundation and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital curriculum resources, digital content, and professional development for K-12 classrooms, launched DNA Decoded, a program designed to equip middle and high school teachers with the power to unlock the study of genomics to advance the future for their students. DNA Decoded provides easy, ready-to-go, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned lessons and activities for educators serving young learners in grades 6 – 12, enabling them to explore genomics in everyday life.

The Illumina Corporate Foundation advances genomic literacy through community outreach, collaborations and partnerships, and contributions to oncology, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and genetic diseases. By supporting the next generation of professionals, through partnerships with companies like Discovery Education and programs like DNA Decoded, the Illumina Corporate Foundation is paving the way, to inspire youth to pursue careers in STEM.

“This partnership with Discovery Education provides an innovative platform enabling teachers to ignite genomic curiosity in students,” said Vice President of Global Marketing and Communications for Illumina, Inc. Karen Possemato. “Supporting and empowering teachers is a critical first step to helping the next generation discover the power of genomics and its potential for solving global challenges, such as how we diagnose cancer and feed the world’s population.”

The Illumina Corporate Foundation is committed to sharing the promise of genomics with communities around the world. Toward that end, DNA Decoded focuses on empowering educators with digitally immersive tools that bring genomics to life in their classrooms. With standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, students across the U.S. will be able to study how genes interact and they will apply the study of genomics to real-world challenges, helping them to realize the hope genomics represents in rare and undiagnosed diseases.

Educators can download the following digital curriculum resources at by visiting DNADecoded.org:

  • Sickle Cell Trait and Reducing Risk in Sports project starter
  • Functional Genomics and Individualized Medicine STEM project activator
  • Deep Space Genomics lesson
  • Agriculture Revolution lesson

“Discovery Education is proud to partner with the Illumina Corporation Foundation to nurture budding young scientists’ boundless curiosity and deepen their understanding of how they can use science to change the world,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Discovery Education Lori McFarling. “Working with educators and students nationwide, we are excited to inspire problem-solving and the exploration of new career pathways powered by the study of STEM.”

The Illumina Corporate Foundation and Discovery Education created DNA Decoded to provide students with engaging digital resources to apply genomics solutions to the challenges for everyday life. DNA Decoded aids educators and learners in examining how STEM professionals use genomics to fight diseases, such as sickle cell anemia and cancer, as well as to boost the health of the world’s food supply. DNA Decoded also helps school communities learn about the impacts of DNA beyond ancestry and gene traits. Students are able to leverage newfound accessibility to genomics by exploring careers in STEM through these stimulating activities and an accompanying educator guide.

“‘DNA Decoded’ has the power to engage students in critical content mastery steps that can launch them into a new world of possibilities in STEM,” said Andy Losik, STEM teacher at Hamilton Community Schools in Hamilton, Michigan. “The program’s digitally immersive tools make learning the complexity of genes, and how they affect the world around us, exciting and fun.”

DNA Decoded resources are available at no-cost at dnadecoded.org and are also available in Discovery Education Streaming. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital curriculum resources and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education through social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest @DiscoveryEd.

About Illumina Corporate Foundation:

The mission of the Illumina Corporate Foundation is to share the promise of genomics with communities around the world. We are focused on helping educators bring genomics into their classrooms as well as helping patients understand the hope genomics represents in rare and undiagnosed genetic diseases and cancer. To learn more, visit Illumina, Inc. at illumina.com and follow @illumina.

About Discovery Education:
As the global leader in standards-based digital curriculum resources, digital content, and professional development for K-12 classrooms worldwide, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving more than 5 million educators and 51 million students, Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms and primary schools in the UK, and more than 90 countries around the globe. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Explore the future of education at discoveryeducation.com.

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