BHSU News & Events

Life science concepts workshop held at BHSU

Brenda Murphey, Rapid City Area Schools, prepares an electrophoresis gel for DNA analysis while Ann Anderson of the Belle Fourche School District, Deb Thorp of the Lead-Deadwood School District, Pankaj Mehrotra, graduate student in integrative genomics from New Delhi, India, and Betsy Burtzlaff of the Newell School District watch, during the science teacher workshop hosted by Black Hills State University in June.
More than 20 high school science teachers from across the state had the opportunity to experience DNA technology and consider its applications in today’s world as a part of a workshop hosted by Black Hills State University recently. Tom Mead of the Spearfish School District prepares to use a micropipetter while Laura Kramer, a pre-dentistry and biology major from Gillette, Wyo. and David Ireland of the Rapid City School District, look on.
Laura Kramer, a pre-dentistry and biology major from Gillette, Wyo., watches Michelle Bartels of the Hamlin School District and Nancy Buehner of the Deubrook School District prepare DNA samples for analysis during the science teacher workshop hosted by Black Hills State University in June.

More than 20 high school science teachers from across the state had the opportunity to experience DNA technology and consider its applications in today’s world as a part of a workshop hosted by Black Hills State University recently.

The workshop, Science Concepts for Teachers,  facilitated in June by Dr. Shane Sarver, director of the center for the conservation of biological resources and Dr. Janet Briggs, science education specialist at the Center for the Advancement of Math and Science Education (CAMSE).

The goal of the workshop was to increase teachers’ understanding of science content in life science especially in the area of DNA technology and its applications in today’s world. The sessions focused on the role of DNA in inheritance and its applications in everyday life in fields such as forensics, agriculture, and medicine. Simple techniques such as DNA extraction, agarose electrophoresis, DNA sequencing, and polymerase chain reaction were used by the participants to analyze DNA. The relationship between DNA and the diversity of life on Earth was explored as well as some of the legal and ethical issues related to the use of DNA technology. The participants also designed lesson plans for applying techniques and information from the workshop with their middle and high school students.

Sarver and Briggs were assisted by four BHSU students: Laura Kramer, a pre-dentistry and biology major from Gillette, Wyo.; Polly Hall, a pre-medicine and biology major from Sheridan, Wyo.; Riston Haugen, a graduate student in the masters program in integrative genomics from Baltic; and Pankaj Mehrotra, a graduate student in the masters program in integrative genomics from New Delhi, India, who shared their research experiences and assisted with the lab activities.

The workshop was funded in part through a No Child Left Behind Title II grant written by Briggs and Sarver. Additional funding was provided by the South Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) grant.

For more information contact Janet Briggs at 642-6875 or Shane Sarver at 642-6854.

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