My students are good learners. They excel at STEM activities, participate fully when presented with engaging content and teaching and do not hesitate to ask questions about content they do not fully understand. For the most part, they are disciplined, focused, respectful and take responsibility for their education and learning.
The students would be eager to exploit an opportunity to expand the formal school curriculum in the form of a STEM project.
They will present the results of their research project in a peer-reviewed Journal; the Journal of High School Science.
The Agar, media and plates are to expand and grow the colonies that express the antimalarial peptide. The blood is to innoculate with the malarial parasite, Plasmodium berghei along with the yogurt containing the cDNA of the antimalarial peptide. The extent of hemolysis will be measured by measuring the absorbance of the released hemoglobin using a visible spectrophotometer after centrifugation. We also need the Plasmodium berghei culture that we will order from the American Type Culture Collection and the Plasmid vector from GenScript USA.
Students will learn basic concepts of genetic engineering, electroporation protocols, microbiology and methodology by electroporating the Plasmid containing the cDNA of the antimalarial peptide into the yogurt bacteria using an electroporator.
They will learn the basic concepts of sterility and microbiology by performing autoclaving experiments to sterilize agar plates and aseptically plating the transfected yogurt bacteria on to the plates. Experiments will be performed with blood innoculated with P. berghei and/or the transfected yogurt bacteria. The concepts of scientifically sound experimental design, positive and negative controls, statistical significance and interpretation of data will be emphasized and taught during the project. Students will learn to write a scientific manuscript with quality capable of being published in a peer-reviewed journal. A list of learning objectives follows:
1. Transfection of genetic material using electroporation
3. Steam sterilization
4. Experimental design
5. Statistical methods for data analysis
6. Aseptic manipulation of live micro-organisms and genetic material
7. Culturing, growing and expanding selected bacterial colonies on nutrient media.
8. Ultraviolet-Visible spectroscopy
9. Literature search
10. Cloning cDNA into a suitable plasmid vector
11. Preparation and authoring of a scientific manuscript, its submission to a peer reviewed Journal and publication of a peer-reviewed scientific manuscript.
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