Written by Woodbridge schools:
Sixth grade students
Middle School were introduced to the world of super-computing
and how technology is used to enhance our understanding of the world around us;
ranging from atoms within the proteins surrounding DNA to the vast galaxies
that surround us in the night sky.
Dr. David Joiner, Kenneth L. Estabrook Professor of Science, Technology, and Mathematics at Kean University, volunteered to discuss and illustrate how computers have evolved over time to now become a valuable asset for conceptual modeling.
After learning what DNA is, clarifying how traits are inherited, and discovering how genes can be modified, Mr. Dosch’s sixth graders conducted several activities extracting DNA from pineapples, strawberries, pickles, and bananas. Isha Nayee, 6th grade student, said “being able to see the DNA is cool because you couldn’t normally see it when you are just holding a strawberry in front of you”.
Richard Dosch had sought to enrich his sixth grade students’ understanding of DNA by reaching out to Dr. Joiner. Dr. Joiner explained that computers can help enhance scientists’ understanding of DNA and how antibiotic resistance is preventable by being able to identify and change certain proteins within the DNA of antibiotics.
To expand on this learning opportunity, Dr. Joiner extended an opportunity for Mr. Dosch and his students to visit Kean University next school year to see the Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE™) where they can immerse themselves in a three-dimensional experience.
Dr. Joiner is also the founder of Kean’s Summer High School Institute for high school teachers and students and is constantly in search of outreach opportunities to help enrich the experiences of local community institutions.
"Science is about expanding our understanding of the world around us. I want to inspire learning opportunities, not just give answers" Dosch said. He plans even more opportunities like this next year for the incoming students of Fords Middle School.