2021-22 School Year ISB Education Highlights

Each month throughout the 2021-2022 academic year, we will highlight some of the top projects the team is working on.

December highlights:

ISB’s end-of-year fundraising appeal highlighted the direct education impacts from the 2020-2021 school year (see image above). These numbers represent the work our educators completed directly with students, teachers, leaders, and partners. The indirect impact can be a multiplicative factor reaching many thousands this year alone.

ISB Education is honored to be acknowledged as a strong industry partner for Seattle Public Schools’ CTE programs.

  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs provide middle and high school students with the opportunity to explore careers and learn 21st century, academic and technical skills. CTE programs are offered in schools and skills centers around Washington state and nationally.
  • ISB Education is on the Health and Human Service CTE Advisory Committee for Seattle Public Schools (SPS), providing industry insight on current trends in biotech, and health research.
  • ISB’s contributions were highlighted on the SPS CTE Newsletter for November 2021.

ISB Education is excited that its new Systems Medicine high school course will be included in Seattle Public School’s new Allied Health and Medical Pathways CTE program

  • CTE Graduation Pathways are a series of connected courses that allow students to explore careers while earning dual college credit and industry-related credentials.
  • A new Allied Health and Medical Pathway program was launched by SPS in 2019 and is available to students at six Seattle high schools: Franklin HS, Rainier Beach HS, Garfield HS, Lincoln HS, Chief Sealth International HS, and Nathan Hale HS.
  • The Systems Medicine course is a full year CTE course for high school students to learn principles and practices of systems medicine. This course will be the culminating course in the pathway program with implementation beginning Fall 2022.

ISB’s systems approach to science research is being applied by the Education group, too. On November 17, ISB Education was pleased to help present a session at Washington STEM’s annual summit, “Systems Partners in Science/STEM Equity.”

November highlights: 

ISB Education showcases exemplary high school students and their self driven-projects.

  • Since February 2021, ISB has worked with over 200 high school students through our Systems Thinkers in STEM Ambassadorship (STiSA). In November, we launched an online showcase that will feature over 50 of these student ambassadors.
  • Learn more about the showcase, the ambassadors, and their projects on our website. Follow along every Tuesday and Wednesday via #STEMsystemsthinkers, the website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter through June 2022.

ISB Education was honored to help plan and deliver E3 Washington’s conference. 

  • E3 Washington – Educators for Environment, Equity, and Economy – is the state’s professional association for environment and sustainability educators and a longtime partner of ISB.
  • ISB educators have helped plan and host E3 Washington’s annual conference since 2019.
  • Learn more at

ISB Education proudly shared ISB’s new video shorts with colleagues.

  • Each short video describes an idea – for example, ISB’s biobank or the skinny on probiotics.
  • We shared these resources with local teachers and industry partners at the Puget Sound Biotechnology Advisory Committee, with our social media followers, and through our curriculum modules.
  • Watch them at
October highlights:

ISB Education supported the implementation of a series of quantitative activities as part of ISB’s National Science Foundation – Research Coordination Network Incubator Project: Networking Systems Biologists with Community College Educators

  • Dr. Jen Eklund and Claudia Ludwig worked with ISB Scientists Drs. Christian Diener and Sean Gibbons and Community College Educators Dr. Gita Bangera of Bellevue College and Kim Harrington of Tacoma Community College, to support 10 community college faculty to engage with contemporary quantitative biological methods and design activities to implement in the biology majors course series. Each activity focuses on an authentic dataset and supports students to develop a variety of skills.
  • The activities will be implemented in CC bio courses throughout the 2021-22 academic year.
  • More at:

ISB Education participated in a National Academies event titled “Taking Stock of Science Standards Implementation: A Summit”  

ISB Education presented exciting updates on Systems Medicine high school education modules

  • Dr. Becky Howsmon presented the latest research, resources, and field test results at ISB’s weekly Research in Progress series on October 20, 2021.
  • This led to new ideas and insights from ISB researchers that will collectively advance the four modules within the Systems Medicine course and curriculum.

ISB Education was thrilled to see our colleagues in the Gibbons Lab achieve success as they hosted their 2nd annual Microbiome symposium

  • ISB hosted a two-day course on October 13 and October 14, followed by a symposium on October 15. A record 2,187 people from 46 states and 80 countries participated.
  • Watch videos of the three-day event and learn more at
September highlights:

ISB Education designed a series of ClimeTime workshops for K-12 science/STEM educators

ISB Education welcomed an AmeriCorps Member

  • Miranda Johnson (AmeriCorps/Washington Service Corps) began September 16th and is working with 200 high school Systems Thinkers in STEM Ambassadors. A number of them are designing and implementing environmental stewardship projects in their schools and communities.

ISB Education formed the Puget Sound LASER Alliance  

  • LASER is Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform, a statewide network of science/STEM leaders.
  • ISB is the lead organization after merging two LASER Alliances into one science leadership network that serves this region’s ~40% of the state’s schoolchildren.
  • John Leitzinger is the Puget Sound Alliance director (contractor with ISB Education, recently retired from leading STEM for the Tacoma school district.
  • Caroline Kiehle is a statewide LASER co-director
  • Learn more about LASER

Recent Articles

  • Dr. Temple Grandin and the Importance of Getting Kids Outside

    Dr. Temple Grandin was the featured guest of the latest ISB-Town Hall Seattle Science Series. Grandin discussed her new book – “The Outdoor Scientist: The Wonder of Observing the Natural World” – and a variety of other topics. Following her talk, she joined ISB President Dr. Jim Heath for a wide ranging Q&A discussion.

  • ISB Education virtual

    ISB Education Takes Virtual Road Trips to Offer Skills, Experience for Teachers

    Since October, 50 high school teachers representing several school districts across Washington have participated in a series of ISB workshops. “We quickly realized we were in a unique position to help educators pivot into remote teaching,” said Caroline Kiehle.

  • Eastern Washington Teachers Investigate Systems

    High School teachers from Eastern Washington started the new year off with a bang! On January 5th they joined Dr. Anne Thompson, a Research Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at Portland State University to learn more about her research. In the coming weeks, the teachers will work with ISB Education and the Eastern Washington Educational Service Districts to dive into the Invisible Forest classroom module.