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BIO5 hosts 3rd annual AZ K-12 Science Teacher Symposium

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BIO5 Presents 3rd Annual Arizona K-12 Science Teacher Symposium

Participants will make soda-bottle biospheres, perform DNA fingerprinting, and analyze the genetics of breast cancer.

From processing forensic evidence to exploring climate change through tree rings, teachers will participate in a wide variety of hands-on workshops at the third annual Arizona K-12 Science Teacher Symposium being held next month.

"This symposium provides a unique opportunity for teachers to engage in current research presented in a format they can bring back to their classrooms. Networking with their colleagues all across Arizona is another advantage," said BIO5's Education Outreach Director Stacey Forsyth. "This year, we are particularly excited about our partnership with Biosphere 2 and the Arizona Center for STEM Teachers. Biosphere 2 is a perfect setting to immerse teachers in hands-on exploration of their environment and excite them about science."

The event is presented by The University of Arizona's BIO5 Institute in partnership with the Arizona Center for STEM Teachers at Biosphere 2. This year, additional activities and overnight accommodations are available Friday and Saturday evenings.

The symposium will be held Saturday, April 18, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Early registration is $25 through March 25, 2009. After that, the cost is $40. There is an additional cost for overnight accommodations.

The morning and afternoon workshops, all of which are designed to enhance life sciences education in Arizona schools, include opportunities to build a Galileoscope, make soda-bottle biospheres, perform DNA fingerprinting, and analyze the genetics of breast cancer.

Several workshops will take teachers into the Biosphere 2 dome, where they will collect environmental data within the desert, savannah and rainforest ecosystems.

Teachers also will take part in an expo that highlights University of Arizona resources for K-12 science teachers, tour the facility, hear a keynote address about the current status of global climate change research, and network with other K-12 educators from around the state.

On Saturday evening, former Biospherian Jane Poynter will talk about her two-year experience living and working inside Biosphere 2.

The event draws teachers from across the state, including Kingman, Flagstaff, Prescott, the metro Phoenix area, Casa Grande, Yuma, Tucson, Sierra Vista, Chinle, and Douglas.

All workshops meet Arizona science education standards, and teachers who participate receive eight hours toward recertification.