Saturday, January 22, 2011


During the second semester of 2010-11, a new course, Science Research Elective, will begin.  Research conducted in this class will help students develop digital literacy using 21st century technology.  Students will participate in a class research project on Wolbachia to develop hands-on biotechnology skills.

The Wolbachia precollege project explores the control that a bacterium called Wolbachia exerts on the insects whose current habitat is the hill adjacent to the La Reina campus.  Students will explore advanced scientific topics, such as insect identification (biodiversity), DNA extraction (molecular biology), polymerase chain reaction (molecular biology), DNA fingerprinting (molecular biology), DNA sequence analysis using BLAST (bioinformatics), and correlation of phylogenies (evolution).

According to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, "The Wolbachia Project leverages the scientific expertise of the Marine Biology Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachuseets with high schools.  Wolbachia is a wide-spread bacterium that lives symbiotically in at least 20% of the world's insects.  The project's four goals are to:  (1) broaden access of high school students to real-world research; (2) promote nationwide participation in the collection and reporting of new scientific data on bacterial endosymbionts; (3) enhance student interest in and understanding of biology through an integrated lab series; and (4) show students what it is like to be a scientist."

Wish list items 3.8 through 3.12 will provide materials for the students enrolled in this innovative program.  Follow this link to view the wish list:

1 comment:

  1. What a fabulous opportunity for our girls!