Six high school science teachers will return to school with summer tales of their own after spending a week inside UT’s molecular biology labs. The Knox County teachers learned recent developments in science and new experimental protocols from Jae Park, associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology, in a summer workshop sponsored by his department.
In the workshop the teachers cloned and performed bioinformatic analysis of the insulin gene from the fruit fly. VolsTeach faculty and staff were also on hand to introduce the materials.
“The workshop was so informative and lots of fun,” one of them wrote. “Thanks so much for taking time from your summer to prepare labs and share your knowledge with us.”
The teachers left with both new experience as well as course materials, which they said would help them greatly in making new concepts more tangible for their students.
“I believe this type of outreach activity makes the distance between the research labs and the community much shorter,” said Park, who hopes to repeat the workshop. “In addition, these teachers will have a great impact for all of our futures, as they’re the ones fostering our future scientists, engineers, teachers, and best citizens in their high schools.”
The workshop was made possible by Cynthia Peterson, head of the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology; Lynn Champion, director of communication and public engagement for UT’s College of Arts and Sciences; and Theresa Nixon, science supervisor for Knox County Schools.