Presentation Title

Caught in the Act: Immersion of Hands-on Molecular Biology Applications in High School Forensic Science Course

Location

Nessmith-Lane Atrium

Session Format

Poster Presentation

Research Area Topic:

MBI - Molecular Biology Initiative

Abstract

Molecular Biology Initiative (MBI) is a NSF funded GK-12 outreach program that offers STEM learning opportunities to local high schools while simultaneously enriching the education, research, and professional development of graduate students. MBI provides the opportunity for graduate students to prepare and execute interactive molecular biology training to both high school teachers and students. In accordance with the MBI goals, we developed a DNA fingerprinting module that encompassed inquiry-based learning aimed to enhance the forensic science curriculum at Southeast Effingham High School in Guyton, GA. Our main objective was to enable students to critically analyze DNA using hands-on molecular techniques and apply concepts of restriction enzymes, variable tandem repeats from DNA, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to identify which suspect committed the crime. To achieve this objective, students extracted and simulated the amplification of human DNA from evidence left behind by the assailant. Students then conducted a DNA gel electrophoresis and analyzed DNA bands from three suspects to find a match to the DNA left at the crime scene. This module incorporated common molecular tools, techniques, and concepts used in my research lab involving the molecular detection of zoonotic pathogens from ticks. Students were encouraged to share previous knowledge, experiences, and reasoning to expand on how DNA fingerprinting can be used in a wide variety of fields to include biology, medicine, and forensics. Students were assessed by their lab skills, class discussion, and lab worksheets where they explained the science and power behind DNA fingerprinting as strong evidence. As a result of MBI, students are immersed in a dynamic, hands-on learning environment unlike the traditional classroom. Students interest in the STEM field has heightened as students are gaining confidence in using modern molecular tools, as well as applying scientific thinking and investigative skills to relevant developments in biology and forensics.

Presentation Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Start Date

4-16-2016 10:45 AM

End Date

4-16-2016 12:00 PM

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Apr 16th, 10:45 AM Apr 16th, 12:00 PM

Caught in the Act: Immersion of Hands-on Molecular Biology Applications in High School Forensic Science Course

Nessmith-Lane Atrium

Molecular Biology Initiative (MBI) is a NSF funded GK-12 outreach program that offers STEM learning opportunities to local high schools while simultaneously enriching the education, research, and professional development of graduate students. MBI provides the opportunity for graduate students to prepare and execute interactive molecular biology training to both high school teachers and students. In accordance with the MBI goals, we developed a DNA fingerprinting module that encompassed inquiry-based learning aimed to enhance the forensic science curriculum at Southeast Effingham High School in Guyton, GA. Our main objective was to enable students to critically analyze DNA using hands-on molecular techniques and apply concepts of restriction enzymes, variable tandem repeats from DNA, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to identify which suspect committed the crime. To achieve this objective, students extracted and simulated the amplification of human DNA from evidence left behind by the assailant. Students then conducted a DNA gel electrophoresis and analyzed DNA bands from three suspects to find a match to the DNA left at the crime scene. This module incorporated common molecular tools, techniques, and concepts used in my research lab involving the molecular detection of zoonotic pathogens from ticks. Students were encouraged to share previous knowledge, experiences, and reasoning to expand on how DNA fingerprinting can be used in a wide variety of fields to include biology, medicine, and forensics. Students were assessed by their lab skills, class discussion, and lab worksheets where they explained the science and power behind DNA fingerprinting as strong evidence. As a result of MBI, students are immersed in a dynamic, hands-on learning environment unlike the traditional classroom. Students interest in the STEM field has heightened as students are gaining confidence in using modern molecular tools, as well as applying scientific thinking and investigative skills to relevant developments in biology and forensics.