Exploring Molecules and Microbes

Center for Advanced Professional Studies
BiologyEducation
DOI: 10.18258/0236
$2,305
Raised
102%
Funded on 5/19/13
Successfully Funded
  • $2,305
    pledged
  • 102%
    funded
  • Funded
    on 5/19/13

About This Project

Ask the Scientists

Join The Discussion

What is the context of this research?

The goal of this project is to acquire supplemental funding for high school student participation in the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) conference in Boston, MA in late April, and preparation and participation in the 3rd high school iGEM Jamboree in Greenfield, IN in late June.

What is the significance of this project?

Providing authentic experiences for students who have chosen to explore the world of science is important in helping them grow their passion and get a glimpse of their potential future career.

Participation in the ASBMB conference provides one such authentic experience that is generally reserved for principal investigators, post-docs, graduate and undergraduate students. As part of the SMART Team program, run by the Center for BioMolecular Modeling at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, we have been invited to present scientific posters associated with our work with a bacterial Chaperone protein (important in protein folding) and the G-protein transducin (important in communicating information from photoreceptor in the eye). Basic science underlies all medical breakthroughs.

Participation in the 3rd high school iGEM, outside Indianapolis, is equally, if not more, important in this regards because students will be presenting work that is representative of work as it is conducted in scientific research laboratories. Although, students have not finalized their specific research project for this year, their work will involve the use of recently developed biological engineering philosophies and techniques for manipulating bacteria to perform novel and relevant tasks. One project idea that is being considered is to work on developing bacteria that could withstand the environmental context of a Marsian world.

Here is a link to our "under construction" iGEM wiki: http://2013hs.igem.org/Team:BV_CAPS_Kansas

What are the goals of the project?

The educational program that my students are members of is currently 3 years old. For the past three school years, approximately 50 students per year have reached outside their comfort zone, transitioning from their home high school for 1/2 of their day, for the experience that we have to offer. We are happy to report that next year our numbers will be doubling.

Undoubtedly, marketing efforts showcasing our previous participation in events like those you will be helping to support, have facilitated more students in becoming aware of the opportunities that we have to offer. Your funding in support of this year's participation in the ASBMB conference and high school iGEM, will further accelerate participation in our program.

You have my word that our program will continue to grow and ultimately become a national model for authentic bioscience education.

Budget

Please wait...

This semester, the students on the molecular side of our Bioscience Program will be participating in both the annual conference of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) in Boston, MA in late April, and the 3rd high school iGEM (international Genetically Engineered Machine) Jamboree in Indiana in late June.

Although the parents of our students are quite committed in supporting their students participation in these events, we know that finances limit student participation in these events. Furthermore, being that this is our second year competing in the high school iGEM competition, we predict that our use of consumables will increase significantly.

At the moment, we plan on taking six students to the ASBMB conference for three days, and estimate that a similar amount will participate in the high school iGEM jamboree in late June. Thus, you are only being asked to supplement the current commitment that our program and parents will be supporting.

Meet the Team

Eric Kessler
Eric Kessler
Bioscience Instructor

Affiliates

I am currently the Director of the Bioscience Program for the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) in the Blue Valley School District where I facilitate courses in both the molecular and environmental sciences. Students in our program, give up three traditional classes in their home high school, and travel to our facility for a single hands-on career-based course. Classes meet for 2.5 hours a day for a semester affording time for our student to conduct authentic research.

Previous to this position, I was a biology instructor at Blue Valley North High School where I taught freshman Biology and Honors Biology, as well as Field Biology, Zoology, and AP Biology.

I hold the following degrees:

BS Zoology, University of Texas at Austin (1990)
BA Psychology, University of Texas at Austin (1990)
BA Education, University of Missouri at Kansas City (1992)
Masters in Biology, Emporia State University (1998)

View Profile

Team Bio

My fascination with biology can be traced to my obsession with capturing turtles by hand on our families annual canoe trips to the spring feed waters of south central Missouri.

After completing a series of undergraduate degrees, I became a biology instructor in the Kansas suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. Soon after beginning this teaching stint, I completed research on the retreat-site selection of woodland snakes, and gained National Board Certification.

At the turn of the century, I took great effort in increasing my knowledge of the molecular bioscience, seeking professional development opportunities through the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Doland DNA Learning Center, the Center for BioMolecular Modeling at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, the PhageHunting Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, among others…

Three years ago, I left my position at Blue Valley North, and became the director of our district’s Bioscience Program at the Center for Advanced Professional Studies, where I teach authentic project-based courses in both the environmental , and molecular and microbial biosciences.

I have received numerous grants and awards including:

Blue Valley School District Secondary Teacher of the Year (2001) RadioShack National Teacher (2002) Milken Award Winner (2007) Kansas Outstanding Biology Teacher (2009) Bronze Salamander Award (2011) Kansas Wildlife Educator of the Year (2011)

Otherwise, I enjoy reading and the outdoors, and spending time with my family. I am happily married and have three wonderful children, Maura, Rebecca, and Owen.

Eric Kessler

My fascination with biology can be traced to my obsession with capturing turtles by hand on our families annual canoe trips to the spring feed waters of south central Missouri.

After completing a series of undergraduate degrees, I became a biology instructor in the Kansas suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. Soon after beginning this teaching stint, I completed research on the retreat-site selection of woodland snakes, and gained National Board Certification.

At the turn of the century, I took great effort in increasing my knowledge of the molecular bioscience, seeking professional development opportunities through the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Doland DNA Learning Center, the Center for BioMolecular Modeling at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, the PhageHunting Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, among others…

Three years ago, I left my position at Blue Valley North, and became the director of our district’s Bioscience Program at the Center for Advanced Professional Studies, where I teach authentic project-based courses in both the environmental , and molecular and microbial biosciences.

I have received numerous grants and awards including:

Blue Valley School District Secondary Teacher of the Year (2001) RadioShack National Teacher (2002) Milken Award Winner (2007) Kansas Outstanding Biology Teacher (2009) Bronze Salamander Award (2011) Kansas Wildlife Educator of the Year (2011)

Otherwise, I enjoy reading and the outdoors, and spending time with my family. I am happily married and have three wonderful children, Maura, Rebecca, and Owen.

Lab Notes

2 Lab Notes Posted

This lab note is
for backers only

iGEM Jamboree Recap
July 15, 2013
  • 0
  • 0
  • 5

This lab note is
for backers only

ASBMB Trip to Boston
May 23, 2013
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

Project Backers

  • 28Backers
  • 102%Funded
  • $2,305Total Donations
  • $82.32Average Donation
Please wait...