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2009 Annual Science Report

Carnegie Institution of Washington Reporting  |  JUL 2008 – AUG 2009

EPO Activity: Astrobiology in High Schools

Project Progress

In summer 2009, one science teacher from a local high school was paired with a student to learn how to conduct authentic scientific research in a high school setting. For a period of 6 weeks, the teacher/student research pair learned many modern techniques for DNA analysis which culminated in a project to determine human blood types in a population based on allele-specific PCR. The teacher/student pair conducted literature searches, established research questions, devised protocols, collected specimens from human volunteers, collaborated with other researchers in the field, applied their protocols to the DNA samples collected, created a data base and analyzed results, and presented results to an audience of peers. The teacher is now applying the skills learned to guide other students to conduct original research in astrobiology for senior projects.