Outreach Coordinator

The Keywords

curriculum development, public speaking, bioethics, biotech

The Essence of What I Did

I organized a high school outreach program and developed an hour long curriculum to teach biotech and facilitate bioethics discussions. (2017)

The Story

As the Biotech Club President, I organized several high school outreach projects at a local high school.  The developed original exercises to teach different biotech concepts.  Two of the presentations focused on the zoological aspect of biotechnology and its relevant topics.  The last presentation focused on bioethics.

Since students’ backgrounds in molecular biology varied, I practiced simplifying the scientific vocabulary and complex processes to where someone with a minimal biological background could understand.

The Curriculum

amino acid formation, codons, functions of regulatory proteins, translation, transgenesis, xenotransplantation, animal testing

Creating the HIV Gene

To demonstrate biological integration with computer science, students converted binary codes to simulate bioinformatics.  Each student received a worksheet with three unique, four digit binary codes that corresponded to three particular nucleotides (codon).  Once each student determined their codon, they used a codon chart to determine their amino acid.  Each amino acid was called in a specific order, and students created a chain around the classroom.  Ultimately, students created a portion of the human-regulatory protein for the HIV gene.  This simulated how computers translate binary code into proteins for genome location.

Biotech Bingo

To explore how seemingly non-related fields might fit into the biotech industry, students played a modified version of bingo.  Each block represented a college major (ranging from neuroscience to finance), and a student would say the possible role of this field in the biotech industry.  This activity demonstrates that biotech isn’t just a bench science anymore.

The Responsibilities

designing curriculum for a 60-90 minute presentation, recruiting biological science students to speak at presentations, corresponding with teachers and directors about ideas and proposed event execution, creating original activities that encourage critical thinking in biotech, presenting topics to groups of 18-24 high school aged students, teaching basic biological concepts to students with little background in molecular biology, facilitating emotional conversations and discussion sessions about bioethics, encouraging open-mindedness in controversial scientific topics