Wednesday, June 19, 2013

CASE AFNR Days 2 & 3: And the Science Begins!

A DNA sequence after successful
After diving right into our homework on Monday night, we knew that Tuesday and Wednesday would be filled with many activities and projects in the laboratory (the portion of the CASE experience that I had been long-anticipating).  During my student-teaching experience, I incorporated hands-on lab sessions, but none as meaningful as the experiments that we were going to conduct.

Here, I am practicing the proper
technique to weight out a substance
on a digital balance.
The day kicked off with laying a foundation in laboratory safety by incorporating a lab equipment 'scavenger hunt' in which participants were given a description of a piece of equipment, then asked to locate it within the lab and then explain the purpose of that item to the class.  Basics of measurement were also introduced via an excellent activity that allowed participants to practice measuring length, mass, volume, and density all within the same lab.

The strawberry DNA slowly
rises to the top off the
separating solution.

Today's session was packed with agriculture science experiments that creatively wove elements of Chemistry & Biology into many aspects of the tasks.  Cells, DNA, and dichotomous keys were the hot topics of the day as the lead teachers did an excellent job of putting new twists on routine Ag. Science lessons.  Utilizing models, new software programs, and some strawberries, participants excitedly participated in this series of experiments.  The energy in the room was contagious and many teachers walked away with many new ideas from collaborating with their lab partners on how they can tweak lessons and improve their other non-CASE courses with the information learned today.
Alex Barzydlo working hard to gather
DNA extracted from a strawberry.

With another exciting day of learning slated for tomorrow, I continue to preview for tomorrow's experiments that focus on Environmental Science.

Don't forget to follow the action in real-time by following #PSUCASE13 on Twitter!


Thanks to K. Weinberger for photographs used in this blog entry!

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