DNA FINGER PRINTING FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Outreach in Public Schools (MG693): Molecular genetics and other biological sciences majors have been actively involved in outreach work in local urban high schools since 1999. This partnership was forged through contacts with the Columbus Public Schools Curriculum Superintendent and funded by the College of Biological Sciences and the Ohio State University. The idea came from the grassroots desire of Biological Sciences undergraduates to mentor students at the high schools in their neighborhoods.
Each workshop is two sessions and the high school students get hands on experience with molecular biology, background information on DNA, and enjoy instruction from the OSU students in small group settings. We set the scene for the workshop by showing a short video in the style of the popular TV show- ‘The X files’. In the ‘DNA files’, a high school student’s science project is sabotaged and there are four suspects with various motives. Traces of blood and hair are left at the crime scene. The high school students, guided by their OSU mentors, become forensic scientists and solve the mystery by restriction analysis of DNA from the crime scene and each of the four suspects. We also discuss how the human genome project will influence society and talk about college and careers.
The workshop program is given in spring quarter and is listed as a service- learning course MG591 for which students can receive 2 hours of credit (for information, contact Amanda Simcox, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thanks to biological sciences’ alumni for providing funds for the operation of our workshop last year!