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D N A Day April 25 2015

2015 Ambassador Program

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) participates each year in National DNA Day by sending staff out to high schools around the country. These "Ambassadors" visit classrooms and talk about their research, their career path or what's exciting in genetic research today. Through the use of educational materials, online resources and speakers, students are engaged in learning about the latest advances and technologies in genetics, and how they might get involved in the field. The NHGRI Ambassadors provide unique and meaningful DNA Day activities to a diverse audience of students and teachers.

Washington Metro Area High Schools
  • Genetic counseling students & intramural trainees will visit classrooms and participate in panel discussions about careers, research or hands-on activities. 
  • Timeframe: Mid-March through early May
A hand mark on the wallNational Museum of Natural History
  • Dr. Larry Brody will host a Human Origins Topic (HOT) discussion in the Human Origins area on April 24 from 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Q'rius Program "Genome Geek is In" with three NHGRI Researchers on April 25th.

Testimonials from Ambassadors

Gillian Hooker, Ph.D.

"As a National DNA Day ambassador, I spent my last two DNA days visiting two very different schools. One year, I visited a large high school just outside of Atlanta, where I spoke to nearly 250 students in six different classes. It was exhilarating. I was blown away at how energized these students were. Upon request, they chanted the central dogma of molecular biology, almost in the same manner a class might recite the pledge of allegiance.

Another year, I spent the day at a very small high school in Michigan, where DNA Day is an annually celebrated event, and the excitement of the students was infectious and rewarding for me, as a speaker. I felt incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to bring my experiences and perspective as a part of the NHGRI to a high school that was so interested and eager to be connected to the world of genomics."


Milton English, Ph.D. "It has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had as a member of the institute," said Dr. English. "I really feel as if I am giving back to the public. It is also very rewarding to talk to kids about genome and my work. I also feel it is important for kids to see that scientists are a diverse group of individuals and I am all too happy to inform them about another career choice as a scientist."

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What do teachers have to say about the Ambassador visits?

"The speaker coincided with the completion of our study of DNA. It was great. The students were able to see examples of applications of DNA technology and careers related to DNA study. " New Bern High School

"This was the most informative and engaging program that my students have been exposed to ever. I was very pleased with the presenter and the information she presented. My students understood why they were studying DNA." Towers High School

"It was excellent. Our students were able to see a real-life application of DNA. They were introduced to research and prospective job opportunities that they typically would not be." Brunswick Early College High School

"It was wonderful! Good to have someone else present ideas-especially someone so current on the issues. This helped with the review for my AP Biology students as we prepare for the national exam. This will also help me next year as I teach genetics." Dacula High School

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Opportunities to Speak to the Public

The NIH Office of Science Education (OSE) coordinates several volunteer services through which NIH and other federal employees can share their professional knowledge and expertise with the local community.

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Resources for Ambassadors

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Speaking About Genetics

Speaking about genetics to high school audiences can be challenging. The following can help you prepare for your presentation.

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Last Updated: Merch 13, 2015