The National Science Teachers Association recognized educator Jason Crean with a “Making a Difference” award for his development of a high-school-level genetics curriculum. Already holding a master’s degree in education, Jason recently completed the master’s of biology program offered by Western Illinois University and Shedd Aquarium.

Applying what he learned at Shedd and working with Chicago-area zoos, Jason created “Zoo Genetics: Key Aspects of Conservation Biology,” which connects high school students to real-world applications of scientific investigations. Students gain insight into how genetics can be used to manage animal populations, both in the wild and at zoos and aquariums.

Jason said, “The unique classes at Shedd strengthened my understanding of the biological sciences.” He’s already applied what he learned in the Shedd course to his students’ curriculum at Lyons Township High School.

The NSTA “Making a Difference” award recognizes and honors excellence in a science program developed and implemented by middle-level science teachers, grades 6-12. Entries must show innovative and effective teaching strategies combined with a science program that has influenced students to explore and investigate science and its application to global problems.

Learn more about Shedd's adult educational programs.

Posted by Joy Kubarek-Sandor, education