The K-12 Outreach Committee develops educational initiatives that promote excellence in K-12 education. Its activities include sponsoring workshops at national teacher organizations, maintaining a clearinghouse of classroom and outreach activities about the microbial world, and developing content for science festivals.


The mission of the K-12 Outreach Committee is to:

  • Engage the community of microbiologists and educators in K-12 outreach, and
  • Promote microbiology in the K-12 community.

Strategic Goals and Objectives (December 2011)

  1. Provide professional development programs
    1. Present and assess a microbiology session at a minimum of two nationally sponsored teacher meetings each year
  2. Promote interest in microbiology careers
    1. Update and disseminate new career resources targeted to high school students
      1. Design and disseminate a careers poster
      2. Build a website with career information including written, oral and video stories on careers
    2. Improve awareness and accessibility of web materials to K-12 community
  3. Provide resources for K-12 outreach
    1. Deposit K-12 educator resources to other microbiology websites
      1. Link K-12 outreach activities to
      2. Link K-12 outreach activities to BioSci EdNet (BEN)
    2. 3.2 Encourage and continue development of peer-reviewed activities for the K-12 community
      1. 3.2.1 Revise activities website including instructions to authors
  4. 4    Identify financial and human resources for programs
    1. 4.1 Encourage partnerships with professional societies, government agencies, and foundations
    2. 4.2 Recruit and engage volunteers for K-12 community activities
      1. 4.2.1 Assist Undergraduate Committee in revision of Undergraduate Teaching Fellows Program
      2. 4.2.2 Encourage participation of Branches and Student Chapters in outreach activities
      3. 4.2.3 Revise Science Educator Network and encourage members to volunteer
  5. 5    Support involvement of the microbiology community in K-12 education
    1. 5.1 Sponsor an annual presentation at American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators
    2. 5.2 Promote and recognize the participation of ASM members in K-12 outreach
      1. 5.2.1 Incorporate statement on K-12 outreach as broader impact for ASM fellowships
      2. 5.2.2 Develop standardized presentations on outreach for Branches and other groups
      3. 5.2.3 Collect, prepare, and disseminate profiles of members working in the community
      4. 5.2.4 Propose honorific awards
  6. 6    Increase recognition of microbiology as an integral part of scientific literacy
    1. 6.1 Encourage the incorporation of microbiology in science curriculum standards
    2. 6.2 Emphasize the important role of microbes in all subjects
      1. 6.2.1 Revise activity collection to promote interdisciplinary connections
    3. 6.3 Advocate the inclusion of evolution in curriculum, based on scientifically supportable evidence at all levels


Dave Westenberg, Ph.D., Chair
Missouri University of Science and Technology

Tracey Meilander, M.Ed., Ph.D.
Notre Dame College

Jennifer DeBruyn, Ph.D.
University of Tennessee

Erica Siebrasse, Ph.D.
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Jay Lennon, Ph.D.
Indiana University

Dave Wessner, Ph.D.
Davidson College

Pamela Marshall, Ph.D.
Arizona State University



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