Bioinformatics is an integral part of modern life sciences. It has revolutionized and redefined how research is carried out and has had an enormous impact on biotechnology, medicine, agriculture and related areas. Yet, it is only rarely integrated into high school teaching and learning programs, playing almost no role in preparing the next generation of information-oriented citizens.
Based on the recommendations of the 2010 meeting of the International Society for Computational Biology Education Committee vis-a-vis integrating bioinformatics into high school biology classes,AGS has developed the courseware containing a plethora of bioinformatics-based online resources, learning modules and bioinformatics-based lessons and curricular elements.
The activities in the learning environment have been selected according to (i) the relevance of the scientific context to students' interests; (ii) a clear biotechnological application; (iii) use of a variety of bioinformatics tools and databases that are suitable for the high school students' cognitive level; (iv) leading-edge high-impact subjects that are broadly covered in the popular scientific literature and in the public media, indicating scientific importance and accessibility; (v) clear connections to principles and techniques in the biotechnology syllabus; and (vi) representation of diverse organisms and different molecules (DNA, RNA and proteins).