Teacher In-Service Training

Twice a year, STARS presents programs that emphasize hands-on, inquiry-based lessons for use in the classroom.


This session reviews some of the technologies currently used in research laboratories such as electrophoresis, DNA extraction, bacterial transformation, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Accompanying activities are used to teach these concepts in the classroom.

Exercise Physiology

Developed by the American Physiological Society, these activities focus on the cardiovascular response to exercise. Students measure blood pressure and heart rate, calculate cardiac output, and investigate the effects of peripheral resistance on blood flow.

Gel Electrophoresis

Teachers receive basic instruction on the use of electrophoresis equipment included in the Science Demonstration Kit. This unit, developed by STARS, exposes students to agarose gel electrophoresis through a series of paper and laboratory activities.


This session includes a full day of investigation into genetics and the Human Genome Project. Participants were given a number of hands-on activities for use in the middle and high school classroom, including a Genome Gallery developed by Golder Wilson for the Mini-Medical School on Genetics. 

Human Physiology in Space

A product of NASA’s work with the space shuttle, this excellent program investigates some of the physiological responses to microgravity. The materials provided are designed for an extensive unit on human physiology.

Kidney Under Pressure

This problem-solving unit, produced by the American Physiological Society, begins by introducing eight patients, all of whom suffer from kidney disorders. Students are then provided with an active learning experience as they are asked to design experiments, collect data, and perform differential diagnoses to determine the source of their patient’s ailment.

Muscle Physiology

Muscles are investigated from the aspect of the whole organ down to the subcellular level. Quantitative lab activities and skits supplement a discussion of current research.

Protein Crystal Growth

Proteins are the building blocks of our bodies and the living world around us. The goal of the Protein Crystal Growth payload is to grow high-quality crystals of selected proteins so that their molecular structures can be studied. On Earth, gravity often has a negative impact on growing protein crystals. In microgravity – the near weightlessness of space – molecules move more slowly, allowing crystals to grow in a more regular and perfect form. Participants for this workshop are trained to use the Protein Crystal Growth kit using lysozyme and Brazil nuts. 

Suturing Techniques

Aimed at teachers of anatomy and physiology, this workshop covers the basics of skin suturing and shows teachers how they can use pigs’ feet to demonstrate these techniques in the classroom.

Register for an upcoming event.