Biology lab turns students into DNA detectives

Transferring+DNA+into+a+gel+electrophoresis%2C+freshman+Jada+Williams+works+during+a+biology+lab+of+Thursday+with+students+comparing+strings+of+DNA.+%0A%22It%E2%80%99s+such+an+important+knowledge+that+you+need+to+know+because+it%E2%80%99s+something+that+they%E2%80%99re+going+to+see+a+lot+if+you+ever+go+to+jury+duty%2C+they%E2%80%99ll+see+this+kind+of+testing+going+on%2C%22+biology+teacher+Chris+Ham+said.+%22I+want+them+to+be+a+better+citizen%2C+be+prepared+to+be+an+adult%2C+even+though+it%27s+actually+not+on+the+EOC.%E2%80%9D%0A%0A+
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Biology lab turns students into DNA detectives

Transferring DNA into a gel electrophoresis, freshman Jada Williams works during a biology lab of Thursday with students comparing strings of DNA.

Transferring DNA into a gel electrophoresis, freshman Jada Williams works during a biology lab of Thursday with students comparing strings of DNA. "It’s such an important knowledge that you need to know because it’s something that they’re going to see a lot if you ever go to jury duty, they’ll see this kind of testing going on," biology teacher Chris Ham said. "I want them to be a better citizen, be prepared to be an adult, even though it's actually not on the EOC.”

Holley Mosley

Transferring DNA into a gel electrophoresis, freshman Jada Williams works during a biology lab of Thursday with students comparing strings of DNA. "It’s such an important knowledge that you need to know because it’s something that they’re going to see a lot if you ever go to jury duty, they’ll see this kind of testing going on," biology teacher Chris Ham said. "I want them to be a better citizen, be prepared to be an adult, even though it's actually not on the EOC.”

Holley Mosley

Holley Mosley

Transferring DNA into a gel electrophoresis, freshman Jada Williams works during a biology lab of Thursday with students comparing strings of DNA. "It’s such an important knowledge that you need to know because it’s something that they’re going to see a lot if you ever go to jury duty, they’ll see this kind of testing going on," biology teacher Chris Ham said. "I want them to be a better citizen, be prepared to be an adult, even though it's actually not on the EOC.”

Kasey Harvey, Editor-in-chief

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Freshman biology students took a break from lectures and notes on Wednesday and Thursday to solve a crime within the classroom. Biology teachers Kristen Newton, Chris Ham, and Deana Cowger set up a story for students to solve using Gel Electrophoresis to compare strings of DNA

Bringing the activity back after a few years of not doing it, Ham found it’s importance beyond of the EOC Assessment in May.

“What’s interesting is that it wasn’t done for the past three or four years it’s because it’s not a TEK anymore,” Ham said. “And it was also taken out in the curriculum but I’m bringing it back because it’s such an important knowledge that you need to know because it’s something that they’re going to see a lot if you ever go to jury duty. They’ll see this kind of testing going on. I want them to be a better citizen, be prepared to be an adult, even though it’s actually not on the EOC.”

Patience and analyzing proteins were key to solving the crime.

“My biggest takeaway from this project is having control of my actions,” freshman Rafile Usman said. “You need to be really careful on what you’re doing because if you make one slight mistake everything is going to be wrong.”

For freshman Abir Faisal, the lab appealed to her interests outside of school.

“I’ve always wanted to do projects like this where you get to work with different chemical types and I’m really into forensics as well,” Faisal said. “I’ve always had this love for crime, mystery novels, and TV shows. I thought it would be really interesting because I also really like biology, especially DNA. I think that it comes from my mom, because she majored in genetics and she used to teach me a lot about it as well. When I realized that I could combine the two I thought that was really cool.”