Workshop resources prepare students

The Ohio Soybean Council-sponsored Ag Biotech Academy workshop provided Heather Mitchell from Colerain High School in Cincinnati with some great materials to use with her students. Mitchell said, “I am constantly looking for ways to incorporate new ideas into my biology classes. The summer workshop helped with many activities. I used the human DNA model to help students understand the basics of DNA structure by participating in a kinesthetic model of DNA.”

Mitchell used the gel electrophoresis basics worksheet to prepare her students prior to doing the actual DNA electrophoresis. “The velcro worksheet helped students understand what would be going on when we ran the gel. Since our bells are slightly under 50 minutes long, it is imperative that students come in with a good understanding of what is going on so they can finish in the time we have. This year the students were much more prepared and were able to run the gels and get separation in one class period. I attribute this to using the paper and velcro copy provided by GrowNextGen. The paper model also allowed students that lack the maturity to run their own gel to have a better understanding when we ran a demonstration electrophoresis gel together as a class. Given the time crunch we have to get everything finished before testing begins, I found the activities that I received from GrowNextGen to be clear and concise and easily adaptable to my classroom structure. This helped students understand not only DNA fingerprinting but also the many related areas of biotechnology.”

She also used the GMO card sort activity and had great success stimulating students’ interest and ability to see the relevance of DNA technologies to their lives. “My students come from a mix of urban and suburban backgrounds, and most of them are distanced from their food. This activity allowed them to see that this technology is all around them and factors in their daily lives. The students were amazed at some of the things that were not GMOs but made from artificial selection.”

This summer’s Ag Biotech workshop is now open for registration! Join us!