Skip to Main Content

Novel Curricula

Please find links to published papers describing novel curricula that SERU has been involved in creating (SERU members are in bold):

Lentz TB, Ott LE, Robertson SD, Windsor SC, Kelley JB, Wollenberg MS, Dunn RR, Goller CG (2017).  Unique Down to Our Microbes–Assessment of an Inquiry-Based Metagenomics Activity.  Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education 18: 1-8 (Link:

  • This article describes a novel, inquiry-based metagenomics activity where students explore the diversity of the belly button microbiota.  Students use a previously collected belly button metagenomics data set that was collected via a citizen science approach to formulate a novel question and analyze the data using a free online metagenomics visualization tool (  Students then formulate a model that explains their findings before presenting their experimental results in the form of either an oral presentation or written report.  Results of this curriculum assessment reveal that students gain higher-order cognitive skills, such as formulating a novel experimental question and analyzing and interpreting data, all of which are essential biology education competencies outlined in the 2012 Vision and Change Report from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  This project was conducted by Dr. Laura Ott (SERU Director) and colleagues at The Biotechnology Program at NC State University.