About us

The goal of the VCU Center for Integrative Life Sciences Education is to promote scientific literacy at local, regional and national levels.

Scientific literacy can be achieved by:

  • Increasing public awareness of the technical and bioethical issues surrounding the life sciences discoveries of the 21st century
  • Educating pre-college students about the life sciences
  • Providing information and professional development to K-12 science teachers across the nation

Our Secrets of the Sequence project takes you and your students to laboratories where scientists are investigating fascinating questions. Secrets of the Sequence creates an avenue for students to learn from leading scientists and ethicists about the profound moral, ethical and legal impact of recent discoveries in the life sciences. Secrets of the Sequence videos engage students and introduces them to a variety of traditional and cutting-edge topics. A complete list of Secrets of the Sequence videos [PDF] is available as well.

The Secrets of the Sequence series was produced by Ward Television of Washington, D.C., one of the most respected names in quality documentary programming. Ward produces educational, scientific and historical programs for the commercial networks, public television and the Discovery Channel, and is a frequent winner of the television industry’s highest awards. This series was produced in collaboration with an advisory board made up of six leading genetic research universities.

  • Harvard University
  • The Medical Research Council/Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • University of California San Francisco
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Virginia Commonwealth University

Additional videos have recently been added through the generous support of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Corporate underwriters included Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Pfizer, Pfizer Foundation, Oracle and the Council for Biotechnology Information. Funding for the development of Secrets of the Sequence teaching materials is provided by the Pfizer Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences and the Virginia Educational Technology Alliance.

Secrets of the Sequence videos and accompanying classroom-tested lesson plans are designed to help teachers expand their students’ knowledge by:

  • Presenting new advances in the life sciences
  • Demonstrating the relevance of scientific discovery
  • Exploring the scientific and ethical implications of genetic research
  • Developing critical thinking skills
  • Reinforcing sound decision-making
  • Generating enthusiasm about science and science careers

Do you have students interested in careers in the life sciences? Visit VCU’s interactive life science career website for a wealth of information to help students decide if a career in the life sciences is right for him/her.