National Institute of Health Funds Hartford Public School Educators Attending Harvard Medical School Summer Institute

National Institute of Health Funds Hartford Public School Educators Attending Harvard Medical School Summer Institute

Hartford Public School STEM educators attended the Summer Institute at Harvard Medical School (Boston), which focused on Genetics & Social Justice. More than 55 educators throughout the United States, participated in this three-day (July 19-21, 2016) workshop.

Attendees included: Dr. Sandra Inga, Central Office, STEM, Physical Education & Health Director, Dr. Mario Sousa-Pena, Bulkeley High School, Mr. Daniel , Duesing, Annie Fisher STEM/Montessori, Ms. Francia Prescott, University High School of Science & Engineering, Mr. DJ Hemme, Capital , Prep, Ms. Vinny Vu, Capital Prep, Mr. Shahid Abdul-Jabbar, Betances STEM, Ms. Andrea Greene, Central Office, Curriculum Specialist, and Ms. Sherlye Jackson, Central Office, Director of Special Education.


The workshop was made possible through a National Institute of Health grant (PgEd/Personal Genetics Education Project). The workshop covered topics in genetics, reproduction, eugenics, CRISPR, microbiome, ethical issue/Henrietta Lacks, consumer genetics, genome sequencing, athletics & genetics; space and genetics and the genetics of identical twins. The workshop was both engaging and thought-provoking and served to support classroom instruction, in keeping our students/staff up to date with new advances in the field of genetics.

A Physical Science teacher at Betances STEM Magnet School, Shahid Abduljabbar reflects, “The Harvard Genetic workshop was very beneficial. It is helping me to develop the rigor and relevance of this unit of study. As I prepare my students for CMT and for high school I believe they will now be better prepared.”

Francia Prescott, College & Career Specialist at University High School Of Science & Engineering shares the impact of the conference:

“Although I am not a traditional classroom teacher, I was approved by the Harvard Medical Schools’ Personal Genetics Education Project to attend the Ethical, Legal & Social Issues in Personal Genetics Conference this past July.  I feel extremely grateful for the opportunity.  The discussions on topics such as Personal Genetics, Eugenics, the new gene-editing technique (CRISPR), Reproduction, Microbiome, the law and DNA, Genetic Complexity, Research Ethics and Space and Genetics are only a sampling of the vast topics that we delved into. The 3 day curriculum was fascinating and personally of utmost interest.  I gained insight into scientific, technological and ethical evolution in these fields.  I also became aware of additional areas for possible study.

As a college and career specialist, my participation in these intellectual discussions with other educators, presenters, researchers and facilitators was certainly a rare opportunity that allowed me to experience first hand various career possibilities that present themselves for our high school students to explore.

One of our district goals is college and career readiness.  I expect to utilize this conference knowledge to direct students to career exploration in these fields that perhaps they know little about.

Thank you Harvard Medical Schools’ Personal Genetics Education Project for  your diligence, research, knowledge, expertise as well as your information share and dissemination.  Your efforts are multiplied exponentially by conference participants (like myself) who assuredly can impact our future through resulting work with our youth.”

For more information, please contact:

Sandra Inga, Ph.D., S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math); Physical Education and Health Director – preK-12
Office of Curriculum & Instruction, 8th Floor
Hartford Public Schools
960 Main Street
Hartford, CT   06103
(O) 860-695-8733