What Florida Teachers Are Saying

In the spirit of celebrating 10 years of science funded by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund and the impact it’s having for Florida, the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the UF Center for Precollegiate Education and Training teamed up to engage Florida science teachers in the NIH’s friendly video contest. We shared UF’s three videos as educational resources and invited our state’s teachers to share what excites them or their students about the science.

We received comments from more than 20 educators estimated to reach more than 2,500 elementary, middle and high school students in 18 cities throughout the state. Many teachers reported using the videos as conversation starters in their classrooms, which sparked ideas about job possibilities, questions about science and new ways of looking at the world.

In exchange for participating, teachers were entered in a chance to win a mini-grant of up to $500 from the UF CTSI toward either a field trip for their class to visit a UF research lab, or for a UF researcher to visit their class or school. Congratulations to the winning teacher: Suzanne Bliss, a biology teacher at University High School in Orlando.

Follow the links below to view the videos and related resources, and check out the comments from Florida teachers here and on YouTube. We appreciate all of the comments we received and will use them to inform future science videos and outreach efforts.

Thanks to all the teachers out there who are inspiring our future researchers!


Translational Science Casting CallSome Cells Know How to Keep Their SecretsIn Search of Treasures from the Sea


Teacher Comments

Many of my students wish to enter the medical field and this will give them ideas about the application of science to practice.

-Candace Roy, AP and IB biology teacher, Vanguard High School, Ocala
commented on Translational Science Casting Call

My students really enjoyed “In search of treasures from the sea” because of the references to “Finding Nemo.” Many of my students wanted to be doctors and found it cool that many future medicines may come from the ocean. I also have a lot of students who enjoy fishing and scuba diving and they had never thought that what they see often could be used to help us in the medical field.


My students liked “Translational science casting call” because they got a chance to see how different parts all work together in the science work. It showed them different career options. They liked the animation and that it went quickly. They lose interest quickly and with this being short they stayed focused the entire time.


My students overall thought that “Some cells know how to keep their secrets” was very confusing. They thought it should be longer and go slower through the topic. The students liked the idea about it being a secret agent and attempting to figure things out but it went too fast for them.

-Alicia Wood, biology and environmental science teacher, Oakleaf High School, Orange Park
commented on In Search of Treasures from the Sea,
Translational Science Casting Call,
and Some Cells Know How to Keep Their Secrets

Translational Science Casting Call: Students enjoyed the fact that there were numerous job possibilities in the research field and they will have options when their time comes for employment. They wanted to know more about specific ones and after watching the video once again, they were told to write down the names of those careers of interest and do a little “research” on their own.


Keepin’ Secrets: Students wanted to know more about metabolites. The video was catchy, caught their attention but too short. They wanted a better ending.


Sea Treasures: It looked like a great commercial at first, then they wanted to know more about what was in the sea. Infusing clips from “Finding Nemo” was great!!

-Beatrice Flaig, 7th grade science teacher, Okeeheelee Middle School, West Palm Beach
commented on Translational Science Casting Call,
Some Cells Know How to Keep Their Secrets,
and In Search of Treasures from the Sea

The idea that our bodies are still a mystery and have puzzles to be solved. We are not that simple. The idea or surprise that there are still discoveries to be made about ME! – personal connection.


Teacher liked the inclusion of the terms with the idea!

-Lois Walsh, Honors anatomy and physiology & Honors chemistry, Deane Bozeman School, Panama City
commented on Some Cells Know How to Keep Their Secrets

Awesome video! My students were fascinated with the applied science part of the video and for me it was nice to see a video that would excite them about marine life that is often under celebrated but that is such an integral part of the ecosystem!

-Melissa Guinta, AP biology/marine biology/biology teacher, Umatilla High School, Umatilla
commented on In Search of Treasures from the Sea

My kids liked this one the best of all three. Since this is an art school they are very good at evaluating their work and the work of others. The only problem they found was that it went too fast and we had to watch it several times. We loved the idea of being a middleman and perhaps integrating science and art.

-Sherry Little, honors biology teacher, A. W. Dreyfoos, School of the Arts, West Palm Beach
commented on Translational Science Casting Call

My students like to know how/why things work. The large amount of unknown questions intrigues them also.

-Kelly LoTempio, physics/physical science teacher, Middleburg High School, Middleburg
commented on In Search of Treasures from the Sea

I loved this! Showed the line of communication of knowledge in science and how we all play an important role!!

-Miriam Sawyer, biology teacher, West Florida High School, Pensacola
commented on Translational Science Casting Call

I think it is very innovative to turn to the sea in search of new medical discoveries.

-Lloyd Wade, earth science/physical science teacher, Walton High School, Defuniak Springs
commented on In Search of Treasures from the Sea

Translational Science Casting Call… Direct, to the point, colorful


Some Cells Know… I liked the film noir ambiance, Sam Spade and all the 40’s, 50’s wonderful detectives


In Search of Treasures… nice touch by having the “Finding Nemo” spots


All of them are informative and are open to be used as conversation starters in a Middle School Science class (Nature of Science topics the 5W’s +H of Science)

-R. Rodriguez, M/J life science teacher, UPMS, Orlando
commented on Translational Science Casting Call,
Some Cells Know How to Keep Their Secrets,
and In Search of Treasures from the Sea

Having visited Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas, this short video had personal relevance that allowed me to introduce it to my classes with excitement and emotions that gave my students a reason to WANT to watch it and learn!

-Pat Moreau, marine science teacher, Mount Dora High School, Mount Dora
commented on In Search of Treasures from the Sea

For “Some Cells Know How to Keep Their Secrets”

My students were intrigued by this video… there were a lot more questions about this video than the others. This video led to discussion about what metabolites are exactly.


For “Translational Science Casting Call”

My soon-to-be graduating students were interested in this video. They wanted details as to what kind of jobs were available and what degree they would need to pursue.


For “In Search of Treasures from the Sea”

My students found it interesting but weren’t necessarily intrigued. Maybe if there were a little more information they would have had more questions.

-Jessica Johnston, chemistry teacher, Lake Nona High School, Orlando
commented on Some Cells Know How to Keep Their Secrets,
Translational Science Casting Call,
and In Search of Treasures from the Sea

As a chemistry teacher, I am continually trying to educate my students about all of the various jobs available using their science education. I watched the 3 videos, and while all were on topic with my goal, this video was upbeat, simplistic, and right to the point. If I were a student watching the video, I would say yes, there is something for me. (Others I don’t think would really draw people in—too specific—although both topics are cutting edge and interesting.)

-Nancy Dunbar, Honors chemistry, Park Vista Community High School, Lake Worth
commented on Translational Science Casting Call

For “In Search of Treasures from the Sea”
What excites me about the science is the cyanobacteria and all the many uses of the chemicals it produces. The way that the chemicals could lead to breakthroughs in cancer and could eventually cure cancer. The ocean and all the organisms that live in the habitat are very exciting. Very little of the ocean has been explored, so there could be many unknown species of bacteria or organisms that could produce various chemicals that could one day save the lives of many. That’s what makes this science exciting!

They’ve only explored about 10% of the sea so far. You don’t know what’s under there! There could be extinct species that actually weren’t extinct, cures for sickness, and even mermaids! It’s rather exciting to see if science can come up with ways to explore underwater and see what’s going on there. We all just need to be patient for what science can do at this time.


For “Some Cells Know How to Keep Their Secrets”

What excites or interests us about the science is the discovery of the secrets in the cell, such as the iKnife being able to tell a surgeon if they are cutting through healthy or diseased tissue. If we can advance this technology we can eliminate diseases more efficiently. Through the smoke—this is how they perfect the cutting of diseased tissue. Most of the class had never heard of or seen such a tool, which surprised them. Advancing our technology will greatly help society in more ways than one in unlocking the secrets of a perfect human body.

-Suzanne Bliss, GT Honors biology, University High School, Orlando
commented on In Search of Treasures from the Sea
and Some Cells Know How to Keep Their Secrets

I enjoy seeing the students realize that science is actually fun and interesting. I also enjoy seeing students light up when they understand that they are capable of doing great things and more than they thought they were capable of doing. I have watched students who thought they were dumb switch gears and desire to do great things after completing a science fair project and participating in a CPET activity or the regional science fair.

-Deanna J. Pick, science club, Research Coast Florida Junior Academy of Science, Fort Pierce
commented on In Search of Treasures from the Sea

First, thank you for sharing the video, Translational Science Casting Call. I teach many STEM topics that include engineering professions, as well as some science background that students need to complete a specific task. As we study and practice the scientific method and inquiry-based investigations, I try to paint a picture for my students on ways this process can help them in the future. I try to put emphasis on the creative thinking that must take place as they work through the “how can I change or modify what I have done.” I work on them being self-directed learners as they analyze the task at hand. I especially like this video because it opened my eyes to jobs of the future for my students. I have many questions that popped into my head, and need to learn a lot more myself in order to help guide my students and understand jobs they may have a passion for in the future. Next, the graphic organizers helped explain all the parts to putting scientific medical research into practice. However, I need more information to help understand each part.


Thank you for sharing “Some Cells Know How to Keep Their Secrets” with me. This gives me an idea of what some research scientists do in the field of cell research. However, for elementary students who have some background on the basic cell structure, they do not have a lot of cell theory background on metabolic process. I would love to have someone come to my class, but I would need some ideas on some experiments or information to teach my students on chemical reactions to teach them some background information. I do a compare and contrast unit on cells and “pizza” (pizza they make on an English muffin — i.e., how the pepperoni is the nucleus, and each item on the pizza is like _____). I would like to develop a higher level of thinking by allowing the students to design an experiment and then have them apply the inquiry process to modify their ideas. Followed by comparing that to what a research scientist does to run their experiment. My students love STEM and practice it weekly.


Thank you for sharing “In Search of Treasures from the Sea.” Creative thinking through scientific research will have a direct impact on our future, but teaching the concept to young students can be difficult. We would love to have you come to our school and ignite the fire within my students to challenge themselves to think outside the box and become self-directed learners through scientific research.


-Patsy Howell, Gifted Education STEM program, Three Oaks Elementary, Ft. Myers
commented on Translational Science Casting Call,
Some Cells Know How to Keep Their Secrets,
and In Search of Treasures from the Sea

Contact for Questions

Have questions about the drawing? Want to know more about the videos or the UF programs that made them? Get in touch with Alex Mills, senior information specialist at the UF CTSI, at aemills@ufl.edu or (352) 294-5590.