The StarNet Project involves teachers and students in authentic research related to drug abuse. Students carry out actual human subjects research through an investigation of the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to smoking behavior. We have collaborated with teachers, scientists, and ethicists to develop instructional materials that guide students through designing and implementing an epidemiological study of several hundred smokers and non-smokers of all races. StarNet provides teacher professional development on the instructional materials and supplies kits to support classroom participation.

High school students have participated by helping to develop questions for the study questionnaire, which collects information about subjects' environment and smoking behavior and by genotyping research subject DNA at several candidate genes in their classrooms. We have compiled the genetic and environmental data into a database that students are using to answer their own research questions about smoking behavior. As they work through the StarNet curriculum, students consider ethical issues related to the research.

Our earlier project, the High School Human Genome Program, allowed students to participate in authentic research by sequencing DNA in their classrooms. Some of the resources developed in that project can be found on this website.

Download the Investigating Smoking Behavior Curriculum

Read about StarNet in the News

High School Teacher Workshops
40 teachers attended summer and fall workshops in 2009 and
 learned to use the StarNet Smoking Behavior Database.
Our Exploring Databases workshop will be held July 26-29, 2010.


The StarNet Project is funded by a Science Education on Drug Abuse Partnership Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2R2S DAO13180).

For further information on the StarNet project, contact  mmunn@u.washington.edu.

University of Washington Department of Genome Sciences
Education Outreach, Box 355065 -- Foege Building, Rm S334 -- Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: (206) 616-4538 -- Fax: (206) 685-7301

This page was last updated 03/16/10.