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Richard S Pollenz
Professor, Associate Dean, Director : Office for Undergraduate Research

University of South Florida


Genetic Engineering and The Future of Science
Audience: Middle School
Description: This is a 40-60 minute active engagement workshop is designed to inspire middle and high school students to engage in STEM disciplines. Students who attend the session will: 1) Understand how genetic changes underlie mutations 2) Understand the agents that may lead to mutations 3) Actively adapt to a specific mutation in order to consume a food source 4) Hypothesize about the survival of a species with different mutation 5) Understand how genetic engineering is used to create and study mutations The centerpiece of the session is an "experiment" in which the student population is given “mutations” and they must adapt in order to collect a food source (Starburst Candy). The field of genetic engineering is used as a platform to frame the experiment and provide a call to action for the future.

Keywords: Active Learning
Genetic Engineering
STEM Education
Duration: 1 hour or less
Fee: No Cost
Comments: This workshop has been offered to 1000s of high school and middle school students across Florida and the world (Indonesia, Arabia) during the past 5 years. There are defined outcomes of students inspired to pursue science fair projects and STEM carrers in college.

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