Bioscience

Mesa biotech class opens instructors’ eyes; lab methods help teachers learn lessons (Arizona Republic article)

June 29, 2006

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: Josh Kelley, Arizona Republic] — Mesa High science teachers Amanda Grimes and Jenny Brierton carefully injected dyed solutions from a pipette into a clear gel used to test DNA. They wanted to determine whether a Doritos chip and a mango they brought to the lab were genetically modified, a common manipulation found in many foods Americans consume. After running electricity through the gel, the 26-year-old teachers placed their finished product under a fluorescent light, exposing the presence of specific strands of DNA as a glowing green spot. The chip tested positive for genetic modification. The mango did not.

While their findings were nothing groundbreaking, Grimes and Brierton said they were receiving valuable training in biotechnology as they attended a Mesa Community College workshop this week aimed at improving science instruction in high schools across the Valley. “It gives them the tools and experience during the school year we don’t have,” said Xan Simonson, who directs Mesa High’s Biotech Academy. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]