Education Outreach

Lesson plans and teaching materials

Start incorporating the Allen Institute's open resources into your classroom with these free teaching materials. Encourage students to explore research-grade cell biology and neuroscience data, spark their excitement for the material, and get them started on independent research projects. Activities are available for introductory high school biology, AP/IB biology, college-level cell biology, and college-level neuroscience.

Introduction to Cell Biology

This collection of presentations and activities introduces fundamental concepts in cell biology using images of human cells from the Allen Institute for Cell Science. Topics include the link between cell health and human health, differences between healthy and diseased cells, using microscopes to take images of cells, cell image analysis and more.

Grade level:
As marked, ranges from middle school to advanced high school

Lesson materials

Introduction to the Immune System and Immunology

This lesson introduces basic knowledge of functions, cell types, and disorders of the human immune system, describes a common technique used to study the immune system through a model-building activity, and asks students to conceive an experiment that studies the human immune system. It also introduces some open research questions in the world of immunology.

Grade level:
9-12

Lesson materials

Cell Biology Bingo

This bingo game pairs images of real human cells from the Allen Institute for Cell Science with descriptions of important cell structures and concepts in cell biology.

Grade level:
9-12 and up

Activity materials

Exploring Pathways in the Brain

This unit helps advance students’ understanding of neuroanatomy, explores the relationship between gene expression and brain region function, and guides students through developing their own experimental questions about brain connectivity.

Grade level:
College neuroscience, sections progress from introductory to advanced levels

Lesson Materials
 

The Building Blocks of the Brain

This unit helps advance students’ understanding of neuroanatomy and genetics in the brain with real data, and drives students to evaluate types of data, data interpretation, and experimental design.

Grade level:
AP/IB/Honors Biology, any grade, or introductory level college

Lesson Materials
 

Mitosis and Microscopy

This unit helps advance students’ understanding of mitosis with real data, and drives students to evaluate types of data, data interpretation, and experimental design.

Grade level:
9-12

Lesson Materials
 

Open Science: Featured Resources by Educators

Educators across the world are using open resources from the Allen Institute in their classrooms. We’ve selected some of our favorites to share.

 

Open course material and Python notebooks: Data science with the Allen Brain Atlas

These open course materials using resources from the Allen Institute for Brain Science range in scope from virtual experiments that last a single class period through a full-term data science course. Some Python experience is highly recommended.

Created by Ashley Juavinett of the University of California, San Diego.

Grade level:
College neuroscience and data science

All lessons

Data Science Course

A Course-Based Research Experience Using the Allen Brain Map: From Research Question to Poster Session

In this six-week course module, students learn how to use Allen Brain Map data through tutorials, then conduct experiments of their own design completely online. The project culminates with a conference-style poster presentation.

Created by Jim Ryan of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, with assistance from Kaitlyn Casimo of the Allen Institute.

Read article

Full issue with supplements

A virtual laboratory on cell division using a publicly-available image database

This open lesson provides tools for faculty to teach mitosis using Allen institute for Cell Science cell images, and incorporates statistics and data analysis. Students quantify the amount of time it takes a cell to progress through the stages of mitosis using cell images.

Created by Eric Shelden of Washington State University.

Grade level:
College cell biology

Lesson Materials

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ASCB article: Office Hours with EdComm

This article from the American Society for Cell Biology provides guidance and resources for faculty moving their instruction online in response to COVID-19. Among the featured resources is a pre-publication case study lesson using several Allen Cell Explorer resources.

Created by Carlos Goller of North Carolina State University.

Grade level:
College cell biology

Read article

View Case Study

Have you developed an open resource for educators using Allen Institute data? Email us at communications@alleninstitute.org to share your resource and tell us about your experience.