California Educator

February/March 2021

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developing medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases. "It took a w hile to get th e projects worked out, but we've seen some really good results," says Leslie Burndon, a bio- tech teacher at Carlmont High School in Belmont and a Sequoia District Teach- ers Association (SDTA) member. "It was impressive seeing the kids working at home. They may not have been able to do fancy stuff we normally do with DNA a n d e l e c tro p h o re si s (th e m o v e m e n t of charged p ar ticl e s in a f lui d or gel under the influence of an electric field) or e xtra ctin g enzym e s, but stud ent s got the rough idea and understood the processes that are involved from these at-home experiments." "We want to build a pipeline to the bio- tech industry," says Rocky Ng, a biotech teacher at South San Francisco High School and SSFCTA member. "So, it was really important for them to have lab skills and be engaged while in distance learning. You can't replace the values of labs or teachers in a classroom setting. But using our lab kits and items students can buy at the supermarket for at-home experiments is the next best thing." Other CTA members in the program: Cherie Cohen, SSFCTA; Jimmy Ikeda, Mary Rustia and Katherine Ward, San Mateo Union High School District Teachers Association; and Jaime Abdilla and Tyler Kochel, SDTA. Rivera Zooms with students Raiselle Kyaw and Elbadan Abdallah. Leslie Burndon with materials she and colleagues will put into this spring's science kits. "Students may not have been able to do fancy stuff we normally do with DNA or extracting enzymes, but they understood the processes involved from these at-home experiments." —Leslie Burndon, Sequoia District Teachers Association 50 Teaching & Learning

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