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Ola High School AP Biology Class Visits Clayton State University for a Day of Biochemistry

January 30, 2016

by Rich Singiser

On January 29, 2016, Dr. Singiser in the Department of Chemistry and Physics hosted 17 students from Ola High School in Henry County. The students were a part of the AP Biology class taught by Dr. Katrina Pandya. This year marked the third consecutive year that students from Ola High School Biology class have come to Clayton State for a day learning biochemistry.

lab activitiesThe students had the opportunity to do lab activities not possible at the high school do to the limited resources. Each of the students had the chance to isolate their own DNA and determine if their genotype matched their phenotype for one specific "super taster" gene. This gene allows people who are dominant for the trait to distinctly taste a VERY bitter flavor. Those people who do not possess the dominant trait cannot even tell that the test strip has a taste.

In the process of learning about "super taster" genes, the AP Biology students were able to perform a variety of laboratory techniques that were previously discussed during their normal AP class sessions at Ola High School. Some of those techniques were DNA extraction, PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), and Agarose Gel Electrophoresis.

The students spent the majority of the day on campus conducting their experiments, but still had enough time to take a stroll around the lake on campus and enjoy lunch at the dining hall. The ice cream was a popular choice after enjoying the main course.

Ola AP Bio students at LakeStudents at Ola High School have become quite aware of the field trip opportunities in the AP Biology Class and insist that Dr. Pandya keep this event as an annual activity. The benefits of collaboration go well beyond just the students learning about the biochemistry. Here are a few of the comments from the students.

"The experience was worth everything! The experiment gave us an opportunity to work with professional equipment and experience it in a college setting. This was an unforgettable experience and I'm truly blessed to have been a part of it."- Alicia Williams

Check back for an update on the activities that next year's AP Biology class will have at Clayton State.

Are you looking for an opportunity to collaborate with chemistry, physics, or biochemistry at Clayton State? Contact the Chemistry and Physics Department for more details. Contact information can be found using the menus to the left.