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Barcoding Life's Matrix: Translating Biodiversity Genomics into High School Settings to Enhance Life Science Education

  • Linda Santschi,

    Affiliation: Integrative Biosciences Program, Coastal Marine Biolabs, Ventura Harbor, California, United States of America

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  • Robert H. Hanner,

    Affiliations: Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

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  • Sujeevan Ratnasingham,

    Affiliation: Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

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  • Michelle Riconscente,

    Affiliation: New York Hall of Science, Queens, New York, United States of America

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  • Ralph Imondi mail

    imondi@coastalmarinebiolabs.org

    Affiliation: Integrative Biosciences Program, Coastal Marine Biolabs, Ventura Harbor, California, United States of America

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  • Published: January 29, 2013
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001471

Reader Comments (5)

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Research grade science in a high school lab! Amazing!

Posted by wbutler on 12 Feb 2013 at 01:00 GMT

As a seasoned science teacher, I have pursued every avenue I could to provide opportunities for my students to engage in a level of scientific work that would take them beyond the ordinary lab work so often utilized in a high school classroom. But how to do that? So often the cost of the equipment is prohibitive and the expertise that is required to set up experiences for students is isolated in a university laboratory somewhere. Not any more. Barcoding Life's Matrix has provided the opportunity for my Honors and AP Biology students to engage in the most relevant and exciting lab series that I have ever encountered. I am not teaching biotechnology skills so students can look at a gel and marvel at the little band patterns. I can take students through a process, with a goal, with a reason for their work. Students are able to see why we use the scientific tools we use - and develop proficiency with these tools. Students are thrilled when they see the bands indicating that they successfully amplified DNA and cannot wait to work with the sequences when they return. They know that they have done real work and have contributed real data to the scientific world at large. Their pride in their accomplishments is palpable and thrilling. This experience is a major capstone for my biology students and marks some of the most exciting work I have done in my career.

No competing interests declared.