What constructs are we testing?
Research will study two distinct populations: high school teachers/administrators and the general public. The research will study the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of synthetic biology held by the general public and high school teachers/administrators.
By examining teacher’s and administrator’s knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of synthetic biology, the high school survey attempts to gain insight into the decision making process of high school teachers and administrators in order to determine why so few schools offer synthetic biology. Gaining knowledge of why so few schools offer synthetic biology can influence future efforts to promote synthetic biology to academia by illuminating the areas where greater support and resources are needed. Because synthetic biology is a rapidly advancing field of study, the knowledge gained from this study will significantly aid future efforts to synthetic biology resources readily available to school systems, teachers, and students.
The high school survey attempts to answer several important questions. First, this research will measure what academia knows about synthetic biology, whether they understand its distinction from molecular biology, and how their knowledge influences their attitudes, perceptions, and support of synthetic biology. Second, this research seeks to find the determinants and barriers to including synthetic biology in a high school curriculum. Third, the research will address how synthetic biologists can best help teachers and school systems include synthetic biology in their high school curriculum.
Surveys of the general public will help determine how the general public would react to synthetic biology. Because some members of the general public may find some of synthetic biology's principles controversial, this information will aid future efforts to promote synthetic biology to schools, businesses, and other institutions that are heavily influenced by public opinion.