Welcome to ASSET

Advancing Secondary Science Education through Tetrahymena (ASSET) is an NIH SEPA funded science education outreach program developed by Cornell University. In 2023, the program transitioned to Washington University in St. Louis. ASSET has developed a variety of modular science education materials designed to stimulate hands-on, inquiry-based learning of fundamental biological concepts.


Join us on Thursday, June 13, 2024 for a Teacher Training Workshop:

The ASSET program: Using a Single-celled Organism to Engage Students in Science through Hands-on Investigations

What ASSET Offers

Science Lab Modules for high school, middle school, and elementary school students

Children are naturally inquisitive about the world around them. ASSET activities nurture that innate curiosity by engaging students in an interactive, hands-on exploration of the world of biology. All ASSET lab modules feature living Tetrahymena, a single-celled protozoan that is safe and easy to grow and work with, and that exhibits many of the biological characteristics of larger multicellular organisms. Lab modules introduce students to a core biological concept using an interactive approach that involves scientific observation, manipulation of experimental materials, and evaluation of results. Each module is a stand-alone unit that comes with information relating the content to core concepts and is supported by a small equipment lending library that can provide teachers at under-resourced schools with the materials needed to carry out the modules. Comprehensive teacher guides and detailed student handouts are provided for each module to facilitate classroom implementation.

Science and Society Modules for all grade levels

Science and society are inextricably interwoven. In addition to the hands-on laboratory exercises, ASSET Science and Society activities engage students in a consideration of the impact of science, technology, and the environment in shaping society, and of the reciprocal effect of societal pressures on scientific endeavor. The ASSET modules integrating science and society provide well-researched and documented material suitable for use in both science and social studies curricula, addressing fundamental scientific issues with a direct relationship to life outside the classroom.

Getting Started with ASSET

View the list of currently available modules and access links to download teacher guides and student activity sheets from our SCIENCE MODULES page. The teacher guide for each module clearly lists relevant NGSS and Common Core standards and provides background information to simplify classroom use of the materials.

Request ASSET kit materials by submitting a Request Form. All necessary materials for the modules will be provided in the kit except for the specialized equipment. ASSET maintains a small equipment lending library that can loan required materials free of charge for a 2-week period to teachers at schools lacking the supplies needed to implement the modules. Kits must be requested at least 3 weeks in advance, and equipment is provided on a first come, first served basis. The kits are shipped from our St. Louis, MO location to your school and back. Local teachers are encouraged to pick up requested materials from the Washington University campus.