FYR Recent News

Photo by Kristian Berg, WPSU.

Understanding Roots Opens Students to Science, Diversity

Focusing science education on students through genetic and genealogical studies may be the way to increase minorities in the pipeline and engage students who would otherwise deem science too hard or too uninteresting, according to a Penn State anthropologist.

“Henry Louis Gates (Jr.) and I talked about using personalized genetics and genealogy in classrooms as a way to help get kids to understand their heritage and be proud,” said Nina Jablonski, Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology, Penn State. “And especially for African-American kids to connect with their heritage. Then also, equally, as a way to create interest in science.”


Nina Jablonski hosted a symposium titled “Understanding Your Roots: STEM Diversity and an Evidence-Based Curriculum” at the 2018 AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, TX on February 17, 2018. Biz Wright (Penn State) and Brandon Ogbunu (Brown Univ.) presented preliminary research and teaching methodologies from the Penn State led Finding Your Roots summer camps, while Aditi Pai (Spelman College) shared details about an undergraduate level genetics and genealogy course. Please see Penn State News for more details.

WPSU Digging Deeper with Eric Barron: Interview with Nina Jablonski and Michael Zeman about the Finding Your Roots Summer Camp

One-of-a-kind summer camp offered at Penn State for the first time

Finding Your Roots project website and Science-U camp website available

Gates hoping to inspire love of STEM through genealogy

Finding Your Roots curriculum receives $659,000 in grants; PBS series returns in January

Penn State, Harvard team up to enhance science education for minority students