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Science Education Alliance (SEA)
The Science Education Alliance (SEA) helps bring good ideas in science education to a broader audience by offering educators models of research-based curricula developed to engage college students in true scientific discovery as early as possible in their academic careers.

The SEA works with science educators at colleges and universities across the United States on pilot projects designed to advance science education on a national scale. The SEA helps form connections among individuals and institutions to turn good ideas into effective, scalable programs.


The SEA Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science, or PHAGES, project is built around a national experiment in bacteriophage genomics. Students isolate, name, sequence, and analyze newly-discovered mycobacteriophages. Students make significant contributions to the field of genomics as they learn how to think like scientists.

The project is led by HHMI Professor Graham Hatfull and his lab at the University of Pittsburgh and by members of HHMI’s Undergraduate and Graduate Programs group.

Beginning with a cohort of 12 schools in the fall of 2008, the SEA-PHAGES community now reaches over 70 campuses and has offered more than 4,800 undergraduates a research experience in a laboratory class.

The SEA-PHAGES course offers students:

  • ownership of a project
  • a chance to publish and contribute to the scientific community
  • regular milestones to measure progress
  • authentic scientific discovery

Participating SEA students and faculty are gathered to Symposia like this one held at the Janelia Research Campus with Nobel Prize winning scientist Eric Betzig.