HHMI-FT Learning Modules

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As a major deliverable for the HHMI-FT program, each intern creates an online learning module based on the research narrative of their host laboratory. The modules are designed to provide self-study opportunities and curriculum support to high school science teachers, advanced high school students, undergraduate and graduate students at UNC.


HIV Learning Module

Creator: Ashley Farlow, 2013

Inquiring into Homeostasis

Creator: Dillon Crockett, 2013

Injured Heart Repair

Creator: Rabiah Choudhary, 2013

Urban Center Mystery

Creator: Jackclyn Ngo, 2013

Alcohol Metabolization in the Body

Creator: Jessica Rodriguez, 2013

Fruit Flies and Cancer

Creator: Jessie Poole, 2013

Insect Ecology

Creator: Tess Free, 2013


Cell Communication and Cancer

Creator: Sean Crosson, 2012

This module explores the mechanisms of cellular signaling and how malfunctions in cell signaling are involved in cancer. Through a series of animations, students compare and contrast normal signaling pathways and mutated cancerous signaling pathways. The module also explores research methods that scientists use to study cell signaling and the impact of signal molecules on cell function.
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Using Bacteria to Study DNA

Creator: Kate Gooden, 2012

This plant biology learning module helps students understand how scientists identify candidate genes to genetically engineer plants. A simulation allows students to carry out the steps of cloning a gene of interest and using Agrobacterium to insert the gene in the model organism Arabidopsis. The module also allows students to see the results of actual experiments and use their observations to draw conclusions about the role of the inserted gene.
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Buoyancy and Fluid Mechanics

Creator: Michael Baker, 2012

This learning module show how mathematics, particularly the Algebra concepts of indirect and direct variation that can help scientists model buoyancy and density. The module includes a game where students must manipulate the variables of density and buoyancy of a ship to avoid objects in the ship’s path. As the students experiment with these variables to keep their ship intact, they gain a deeper understanding of direct and inverse variation and how these mathematical relationships allow scientists to depict scientific relationships.
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Drosophila Genetics

Creator: Andromeda Cook, 2012

This genetics learning module offers an opportunity to conduct a virtual fly lab by mating select flies and using observations of offspring to propose the inheritance pattern of the trait. The module also explore the value of fly models for studying a range of human genes and diseases. Finally, the module explores the tools fly researchers use to take care of their flies and conduct their experiments.
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Motion along a Line

Creator: Luke Tunstall, 2012

This learning module exposes students to the nature of research in math the relationships between position, velocity, speed, and acceleration. The module includes an interactive modeling experiment where students to manipulate the motion of an object and see the resulting graphical representation of the motion. It also includes a matching game/assessment that masures student mastery of kinematic concepts.
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Modeling Kinematics

Creator: Chris Joy, 2012

This module is designed to help students understand that quadratic equations used to model kinematics and other physics-related phenomena. An interactive graph allows students to visualize how manipulating each variable in the equation impacts the mathematical model. By using familiar variables related to throwing a baseball, students use their intuition to draw conclusions before being challenged by more abstract scenarios. A Mario inspired game allows serves as a fun assessment of student understanding.
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Atom Behavior

Creator: Yanying Yang, 2012

This chemistry learning module, based on the Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) model challenges students to draw conclusions about chemical bonding and acid base reactions from observing the interactions of electrons and atoms during a chemical reaction. The flash animations allow students to compare the behavior of the protons and electrons in different bonds and reactions. The module also examines historical conceptions of chemicals and chemical reactions and how increases in technology allowed for more accurate understandings of atom behavior.
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Using Worms to Study Proteins

Creator: Michelle Thompson, 2012

This molecular biology learning module explores how RNA Interference or RNAi can be used in the model organism C. elegans to identify the function of a protein of interest. An interactive animated simulation allows students to carry out the steps of an RNAi experiment and see how RNAi interferes with protein synthesis. A virtual experiment allows students to observe actual C. elegans RNAi experiments and use the experimental results to propose functions for the experimental protein.
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Proteins of the Deep Sea

Creator: Alli Sarfati, 2011

Proteins of the Deep Sea is an online learning module that outlines research going on in Dr. Bill Kier’s lab that examines how cephalopods control muscle contraction speed. This module takes students through the process of using biotechnology to find the amino acid sequence of the myosin muscle protein in the California Two-Spot Octopus. It highlights the importance of studying proteins and amino acid sequences, methods in biotechnology, and the nature of scientific research. This website is designed for biology students in grades 9-12 and can also be used by anyone interested in learning more about this research.
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Using Transgenics to Explore Plant Immunity

Creator: Anna Stallmann, 2011

This module is based on plant research in the Dangl lab at UNC Chapel Hill. It guides readers through the overall goals, steps, and potential outcomes of a typical research story in the field of plant immunity with a focus on transgenic plants as useful tools in accomplishing research goals. The information is most appropriate for high school biology students, particularly those who have already covered DNA and protein synthesis. The module and accompanying teacher resources would work well with a unit on biotechnology!
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Using Toads to Understand Animal Behavior

Creator: Ashley Trudeau, 2011

This learning module explores current research in the labs of Sabrina Burmeister and Karin Pfennig at UNC-Chapel Hill. The researchers in their labs work with spadefoot toads to research mate-choice behavior. Over the course of this module you will be introduced to research in animal behavior, explore the inner workings of a lab, and conduct your own virtual experiment. This module is directed towards high school students and teachers.
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Studying Proteins Involved in Cell Division

Creator: Brooke Sauer, 2011

Use of this module is meant to help teachers and students explore more specifically the varying roles of proteins in the cell and how knowledge of proteins can be applied more generally to disease contexts— more specifically, cancer. The aim is not simply to convey curricular objectives, but also explore specific methods of protein research, such as molecular cloning, and connect knowledge of proteins to current research endeavors at UNC-Chapel Hill. With the help of Dr. William Marzluff and his lab members, this module provides both interactive and engaging materials that are not only informative, but also explore the Nature of Science and inquiry. The module serves as a supplement to Cell Cycle and DNA Replication lesson plans in an introductory high school biology course.
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Fruit Fly Research and Genetics

Creator: Elizabeth Service, 2011

This interactive website is designed to introduce high school biology students to fruit fly research and why and how model organisms are used to study general biology. The students will submerge themselves in the scientific process by walking through a day in the life of a scientist and then trying a fruit fly cross themselves. There are also three classroom activities for teachers to use.
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Disease Ecology

Creator: Emilie Romero, 2011

Check out this interactive site and learn about diease ecology. Learn how researchers are currently studying disease with an emphasis on the scientific method. A quiz on experiment design and a fun simulation accompany the site.
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Cancer Research for Drug Development

Creator: James McCord, 2011

This module focuses on ongoing research in the field of cancer studie that is occuring at UNC-Chapel Hill. The module covered Gene > Protein interaction, Mitosis, DNA, RNA, and Protein roles in the cell, and the basic features of cancer. This module is intended for students with a basic understanding of genes and cells.
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The Power of Google

Creator: Kathleen Tonsberg, 2011

The Power of Google is an Algebra II online learning module that takes high school students through the idea and math behind the Google website. The website was created with advice from Dr. Peter Mucha and graduate student Feng “Bill” Shi in the mathematics department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The learning module will teach them what networks are and how that relates to the way Google operates its search engine. The module will also teach students matrix multiplication as it explains how Google uses in their algorithm known as PageRank. The module also contains a section for teachers offering guidance on how to use the website and a classroom activity to complement what the students learn in the module.
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