Don’t Know Much About History?

High school teacher Thomas Holterman wanted to show his students that some of the human story and our own family history are written in our DNA if we choose to explore it.AC

Holterman is one of four teachers who won an award for lesson plans they developed as part of the Genetics Learning Challenge, sponsored by ISKME and 23andMe. Holterman was assisted by 23andMe’s academic program, which helps teachers incorporate genetic education into classroom instruction.Holterman, a history teacher in Oak Creek Wisconsin, wanted his high school sophomores to use DNA testing to learn more about not just their own families’ histories but also human history.

Using 23andMe testing his students were able to learn more about their ancestry and use it to help create a “family history book” to trace where in the world their ancestors came from.

“We’ve done ancestry projects in the past, but I wanted students to dig deeper into their heritage,” history teacher Holterman told the Oak Creek Now. “This is a journey of self discovery for them. We’ve lost so much of our personal history and now they’ll have information about their ancestors that they’ll be able to pass down the line.”

Some of the students plan to share their DNA stories at the Discovery World in Milwaukee, WI.Check out what some of his students learned from testing.