George Yarno NSF Graduate Fellow

Thesis Title:
Integrating Molecular Concepts into the High School Classroom.

Research Advisor:
Dr. Peter Sheridan

Teacher Partner:
Maria Wilson

Degree Sought:

University Department and/or Lab:
Biological Sciences

Research Focus:

Description of Research:
This research will be to create a series of low cost experiments for a high school classroom which incorporate molecular biology concepts and principles. These experiments will cover DNA replication, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), transcription and translation, restriction enzymes, and finally an experiment which incorporates all of the previous procedures to solve some kind of crime. These experiments will be inexpensive because they will use marshmallows and toothpicks, as well as some inexpensive candy. These supplies can be used in each of the experiments and the experiments will build off of the previous one. There will be material in addition to the procedures for the experiments that will accompany the experiments in the packet I will design. This additional material will include background for the teacher, background for the students, a list of possible student questions with answers for the teacher which will be created by testing the experiments in the classroom, possible sticky points in the procedure, pre- and post-assessment activities for teachers, time estimates, and a cost estimate for the supplies of the experiment.

One example of how you integrate your research into your GK-12 experience:
I will integrate my research into my GK-12 classroom by having my students serve as my test subjects for the experiments. They will help me realize information needed as well as how the experiments go and what changes may need to be put into place.

Profile date: September 2009

George Yarno