Lab Module - 2003 High School

National Science Foundation Supplemental Grant for Outreach #0323461

After completing the first year of our Plant Genome Research grant, we gained a better appreciation of the commitment required to pursue a vigorous outreach program. While we view our first year's effort as very successful, we also identified several opportunities to improve our outreach program. We requested supplemental funding for two objectives that improved our ability to interact more effectively with area high schools. The first objective was to expand the involvement of this program to three local high schools. In doing this we shared the genomics laboratory exercise (developed during the first year of our outreach program) with eight biology classes and over 200 students. The second objective was to support the purchase of necessary molecular biology reagents and equipment to be shared among high schools participating in the outreach program. The grant was awarded in March 2003, and this has allowed us to integrate these goals into our outreach program.

Paula Jones, the science teacher from Groton with whom we collaborated with in 2002, has become the key collaborator for this award. She directed the efforts to extend the program to additional area schools in the spring and summer of 2003 and 2004. Our choice of schools was based on complementary demographic profiles, geographical proximity (aiding logistical efforts), and expressed interest and commitment from individual teachers within the Cortland and Homer School districts.