Science Education Collaborations 

Awareness, Respected and Confidence Through Genetics (ARC) collaboration with Harvard Medical School’s pgEd
Get the Skinny on Your Genes
If you’re interested in the developing field of genetics, then this free event is for you. Join Harrisburg High School students and experts from Sanford Research and Harvard Medical School’s Personal Genetics Education Project (pgEd) team in an exploration and student facilitated discussion of the ethical, legal and social issues related to personal genetics.
Tuesday, April 25
Harrisburg High School
5 p.m. (sessions 5:30-7 p.m.)
Awareness, Respect and Confidence Through Genetics, or ARC, strives to empower teachers across all disciplines to create discussion about cutting-edge scientific and social developments in personal genetics within high schools and the broader community. In 2016, The Sanford PROMISE and Personal Genetics Education Project (pgEd), a Harvard Medical School based group from Boston, MA, began working together on this National Institutes of Health (NIH) supported project.  
Teach and community involvement
As an ARC collaborator, The Sanford PROMISE is driving these efforts in South Dakota.  Through collaboration with our state’s own teachers, we hope to expose schools and communities to new advances in genetics, the benefits and the ethical, legal and social implications of genetic technology and information.
pgEd and The Sanford PROMISE will create teacher professional development workshops; curriculum that supports respectful discussion of genetics, identity and diversity and a professional learning community to empower teachers and support their continued professional development (PD).  We hope to see an increase in school and community conversations about genetics and the interest, fear, curiosity, technology, possibilities, anxieties and other aspects of this topic. 
The NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) project has a five year timeline.  Years  one and two involve development of the curriculum and workshops in urban Massachusetts.  Four South Dakota teachers are selected to participate in these workshops.  Science teacher Lisa Cardillo and social science teacher Colby Peterson, both from Harrisburg High School attended the Boston workshop in July 2016. Science teacher Lindsay Kortan of Bon Homme and another TBD teacher will attend the workshop in Brockton, MA in June 2017.  In Year three, the professional development series will be presented at Sanford Research in Sioux Falls, SD.
 Through ARC, pgEd will create genetics curriculum and ethics discussions associated with:
  • Genome editing and CRISPR
    Sex and gender
  • Intelligence and behavior
  • De-extinction and genetic modification of animals
  • Space exploration and genetics
Currently pgEd has already developed curriculum associated with:
The Sanford PROMISE currently has hands-on activities associated with:
  • Gene and protein research through genetic transformation of bacteria
  • Genetic testing through DNA electrophoresis: Alu Insert, PTC tasting, Mitochondrial DNA
  • Rare disease research and genetic disease
  • What makes me unique: Fingerprints and DNA
  • Next generation DNA sequencing
  • qPCR for genetic resting
  • Familial Disease Inheritance – cancer and rare diseases
To learn more about ARC in South Dakota, or to joint our mailing list, please contact Liz McMillan, PROMISE program director at or call (605) 312.6417.