Biotechnology is the use of technology to explore biology, including the analysis of DNA. This project will bring students authentic experiences using scientific equipment found in actual laboratories, both locally, and around the world, and open the doors to a myriad of careers.
Grade: Juniors and Seniors
Teacher Name: Bianca Benitez
Purpose and Rationale: A key component of the AP Biology curriculum is biotechnology. In particular, researchers use a technique called gel electrophoresis to analyze DNA. This is a highly complex process that requires specialized equipment in order to make the microscopic world of DNA visible. The AP Biology program has expanded significantly over recent years as a large population of our students are pursuing careers in medical or technical fields. By bringing this equipment to our AP Biology program, it will allow students to experience something on the cutting edge of current research practice, giving them invaluable preparation for potential collegiate studies and careers.
Strategy: Currently there are 9 sections of AP Biology offered at Coppell High School and 1 section at New Tech@Coppell which would benefit from this equipment. This equipment could potentially be utilized by IB Biology as DNA analysis is a part of that curriculum as well. Expanding partnerships with other programs and campuses will help in giving even more learners equitable, quality experiences.
External Resources: UT Southwestern utilizes student interns and also runs the STARS summer camp program. Many of our students have been a part of those programs in the past and actually used the same biotechnology techniques that we could potentially provide in our classes in Coppell ISD. Our students may be recruited more often having actual prior laboratory experience. There is potential to grow partnerships and expand our program via guest presentations, trips, and pathways to internships.
Evaluation Summary: Explaining gel electrophoresis - even with a simulation - can be challenging. Having the equipment funded by this grant for our learners to use would significantly help them understand the content as well as open the doors to future science endeavors. As our program continues to grow, we seek to give as many students as possible the authentic experiences in our classes to best prepare them for their next steps.
Estimated Completion Date: Once the equipment is purchased, it will be utilized as part of our curriculum this current school year. This equipment can be reused each year by our students and teachers going forward, ultimately benefiting over 1,000 learners in just 4 years.
Items you plan to purchase with grant money MiniOne Gel Electrophoresis, Centrifuge, Micropipette tips, Loading kit, and Simulation Kits for Analysis.
The minimum amount I need to get started on this grant is $5,841.00
I have the privilege of knowing Bianca, and the passion she has for her craft and these students is impeccable.
Dr. Benitez is an outstanding teacher and we are thrilled to support her work educating our future scientists!