Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) collaborates with North Carolina-area middle and high school teachers to provide professional experiences, in partnership with the North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research and the state’s school districts. Teachers acquire new knowledge and skills to enable them to introduce the concepts of the frontiers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) within the context of regenerative medicine – an exciting, cutting-edge field representative of today’s highly interdisciplinary nature of science.
With a gained knowledge, experience and skills, teachers work on the development of curricula materials and activities to later integrate into their classrooms and help students’ learning more relevant to the 21st century workforce.
Designed to help high school students construct their own understanding of regenerative medicine and stem cells by working in a collaborative environment, teachers will walk away with:
- Regenerative Medicine presentations - An introduction to regenerative medicine tailored to high school students and teachers.
- Tissue Engineering activities - A combination of directed and inquiry based activities for tissue engineering.
- Regenerative Medicine lesson plans - This lesson plan uses the above two resources, together with additional online resources, to provide a more thorough overview of regenerative medicine.
WFIRM -- Integrating Regenerative Medicine into the High School Classroom
Teresa Melton Gentry, Mt. Tabor High School WFIRM Summer 2017-19 High School Teacher Scholar
Ever since I was a little girl I have always wanted to know how things worked or why things happened; I spent lots of time outside exploring. When I was married I moved to North Carolina and became
a Biology teacher and athletic trainer at Orange High School, giving me my first opportunity to teach High school. I am certified to teach Physical Education, Health and Science, and Sports Medicine grades 9th through 12th. but science was the perfect fit! Today, a full 30 years later, I remain amazed at how things work and how much fun it is to teach science to high school students.
It is humbling how rapidly science is changing and the opportunity at WFIRM is such an incredible experience. With budget cuts in education it is so difficult for teachers to keep current in their fields. Without these wonderful opportunities, it would be impossible to stay current. The labs are amazing and the equipment is top notch, but it’s the people at WFIRM who make it special. They are brilliant educators and it struck me as truly remarkable and impressive with regards to how they have taken me into their labs, spending many hours to answer my numerous questions as I was able to witness the process of their brilliant ideas being brought to fruition. They are truly an amazing group and I am so blessed to be allowed the opportunity to work with them.
Collaboration and teamwork are a constant theme that runs through WFIRM. I have been so impressed how everyone works together to share ideas and collaborate. The open lab areas and shared equipment make such a wonderful place for ideas to grow and expand. The lessons of bioengineering, collaborations and teamwork that I have learned at WFIRM will be carried back to my students and fellow teachers and impact them for many years to come.
Editor’s Note: Teresa now also works with our Burroughs Wellcome funded American Indian BioMedical Science Academy which is an academic-community partnership between the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, WFIRM and the North Carolina American Indian Educators. This partnership creates a structured summer enrichment experience to engage American Indian high school students from the seven tribal communities in Eastern North Carolina, with inquiry-based learning resources that impact interest, skills and, ultimately, the pursuit of health and biomedical science careers. In summer of ’18, Teresa also joined with the institute’s partnership with the Department of Defense funded ORISE program for which she provided 12 high school teachers professional development/regenerative medicine curricula.