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Biotech for High Schoolers

Written by Education Week's Katie Ash

Recombining DNA and purifying proteins sound like experiments students in an upper-level college course would be doing, but researcher George Cachianes has brought those hands-on lessons to high school students, according to this recent New York Times article. Drawing on his success, high schools in surrounding areas now are using his biotech syllabus as a model for their own science classes, says the story.

"Students are motivated by understanding the relationships between research, creativity and making money," says Cachianes.

The way Cachianes balances the introduction of basic biotechnology concepts with engaging advanced lab work is pretty fascinating, as is the idea that making a class more challenging actually boosts student motivation. What I like most about his approach is Cachianes' refusal to water-down or limit his students' lab work simply because they are in high school. By treating his students like adults, he is motivating them to do adult-level work.

This is just one example of how educators are encouraging more kids to study science and engineering. Also, it's an interesting follow-up to Friday's post.

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