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ERIC Number: EJ797271
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 11
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0268-3679
"Model Your Genes the Mathematical Way"--A Mathematical Biology Workshop for Secondary School Teachers
Martins, Ana Margarida; Vera-Licona, Paola; Laubenbacher, Reinhard
Teaching Mathematics and Its Applications: An International Journal of the IMA, v27 n2 p91-101 Jun 2008
This article describes a mathematical biology workshop given to secondary school teachers of the Danville area in Virginia, USA. The goal of the workshop was to enable teams of teachers with biology and mathematics expertise to incorporate lesson plans in mathematical modelling into the curriculum. The biological focus of the activities is the lactose operon in "Escherichia coli," one of the first known intracellular regulatory networks. The modelling approach utilizes Boolean networks and tools from discrete mathematics for model simulation and analysis. The workshop structure simulated the team science approach common in today's practice in computational molecular biology and thus represents a social case study in collaborative research. The workshop provided all the necessary background in molecular biology and discrete mathematics required to complete the project. The activities developed in the workshop show students the value of mathematical modelling in understanding biochemical network mechanisms and dynamics. The use of Boolean networks, rather than the more common systems of differential equations, makes the material accessible to students with a minimal mathematical background. High school students can be exposed to the excitement of mathematical biology from both the biological and mathematical point of view. Through the development of instructional modules, high school biology and mathematics courses can be joined without having to restructure the curriculum for either subject. The relevance of an early introduction to mathematical biology allows students not only to learn curriculum material in a innovative setting, but also creates an awareness of new educational and career opportunities that are arising from the interconnections between biological and mathematical sciences.
Oxford University Press. Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, UK. Tel: +44-1865-353907; Fax: +44-1865-353485; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A