Teachers Get Biotechnology Lessons to Pass on; Academy Hopes That Programs Will Trickle Down to Students in Fall

By France, Erin | The Florida Times Union, June 30, 2010 | Go to article overview

Teachers Get Biotechnology Lessons to Pass on; Academy Hopes That Programs Will Trickle Down to Students in Fall


France, Erin, The Florida Times Union


Byline: ERIN FRANCE

ATHENS, Ga. - Teachers at Athens Technical College's Summer Biotechnology Academy this week learned to turn plain bacteria into glowing green droplets. All it takes is the addition of some jellyfish DNA so genetically modified microbes fluoresce under ultraviolet light.

When the middle and high school teachers return to classrooms this fall they'll have new ideas for experiments and more experience using scientific equipment.

That knowledge will help them introduce students to biotechnology skills that the teachers learned this summer.

The Summer Biotechnology Academy - a week split into different sessions for several groups of teachers - started three years ago with a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and is funded this year through a $43,000 U.S. Department of Education grant, said Jeff Rapp, chairman of Athens Tech's biotechnology program and one of the program's instructors.

The program also gives teachers access to equipment and supplies, such as packaged jellyfish DNA and incubation ovens to grow glowing bacteria, to use during the school year.

Since becoming involved in the program last year, Mary Bradbury-Bailey of Cedar Shoals High School in Athens has added biotechnology lessons to her courses, she said. …

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