ISB News

2021-22 School Year ISB Education Highlights

Spotlight on ISB Education graphic

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

January highlights:

ISB Education is excited to launch their first workshop of 2022.

The team responded to school leaders challenged by this chaotic school year by postponing their fall workshop series. They are now working with collaborators to customize dates for many more workshops this spring.

  • Systems are Everywhere (K-5 Version) was developed by the ISB Education group. It is facilitated by Jen Eklund and Becky Howsmon, with STEM professionals from the ISB SEE video collection, “Systems Thinkers in STEM.”  Learn more and access resources here.
  • The series has two parts: (a) two workshops about learning to use the ISB SEE module called “Systems Are Everywhere” to weave the three dimensions of science learning into any district’s core science unit or project; and (b) classroom implementation and gathering evidence of student learning. Learn more about the units here and more upcoming workshops here.

ISB Education is looking forward to hosting high school and undergraduate interns this summer – application process is open

  • Last year, the team received 575 applications for the high school program and 305 applications for the undergraduate program.
  • This year, we are piloting an Environmental Systems in the Outdoors Research Experience, where 6-10 local high school students will work together to perform environmental STEM research at Seattle-area outdoor field locations with ISB educators and scientists.
  • Learn more about our high school and undergraduate opportunities here.

ISB Education sends out a heartfelt thank you to 2021-22 funders and partners.

The team feels incredibly fortunate to have an active group of partners supporting this year’s efforts.


Douglas Howe & Robin DuBrin
Jennifer Hadlock
Laurie Black
Christine Schaeffer
Dee Dickinson
Aron & Sara Thompson
Gil Omenn & Martha Darling
Chris & Barb Moe
Terry Bergeson
Hui Hong
Mary & Arne Anderson
Suzie Burke
Carl & Carole Scandella
B Lippitt
Ann Eklund
Marne Anderson
Electa Anderson
Ben Roberts
JoAnn Chrisman
Michael Walker
Darla Thomas-McGarry
Serena & Paul Swegle
Elizabeth Schneider
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

  • John Gillotte

    ISB Research On Long COVID Featured in the New York Times

    In an article published by Pam Belluck for the New York Times titled, “New Research Hints at 4 Factors That May Increase Chances of Long Covid,” findings of an ISB-led study published in the journal Cell are covered in depth, including quotes from ISB president Dr. Jim Heath.

  • Predicting ‘Long COVID’ At Initial Point of COVID-19 Diagnosis

    Researchers have identified several factors that can be measured at the initial point of COVID-19 diagnosis that anticipate if a patient is likely to develop long COVID. They also found that mild cases of COVID-19, not just severe cases, are associated with long COVID. Their findings were published by the journal Cell.

  • Maternal COVID-19 Infection Increases Risks of Preterm Birth, Low Birth Weight and Stillbirth

    An ISB-led study examined the electronic health records of more than 18,000 people with SARS-CoV-2 tests during pregnancy, and found that those who contracted COVID-19 while pregnant were more likely to have poor birth outcomes including preterm birth, small for gestational age, low birth weight, and stillbirth.