ERIC Number: EJ1055430
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Using HeLa Cell Stress Response to Introduce First Year Students to the Scientific Method, Laboratory Techniques, Primary Literature, and Scientific Writing
Resendes, Karen K.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v43 n2 p110-120 Mar-Apr 2015
Incorporating scientific literacy into inquiry driven research is one of the most effective mechanisms for developing an undergraduate student's strength in writing. Additionally, discovery-based laboratories help develop students who approach science as critical thinkers. Thus, a three-week laboratory module for an introductory cell and molecular biology course that couples inquiry-based experimental design with extensive scientific writing was designed at Westminster College to expose first year students to these concepts early in their undergraduate career. In the module students used scientific literature to design and then implement an experiment on the effect of cellular stress on protein expression in HeLa cells. In parallel the students developed a research paper in the style of the undergraduate journal "BIOS" to report their results. HeLa cells were used to integrate the research experience with the Westminster College "Next Chapter" first year program, in which the students explored the historical relevance of HeLa cells from a sociological perspective through reading "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot. In this report I detail the design, delivery, student learning outcomes, and assessment of this module, and while this exercise was designed for an introductory course at a small primarily undergraduate institution, suggestions for modifications at larger universities or for upper division courses are included. Finally, based on student outcomes suggestions are provided for improving the module to enhance the link between teaching students skills in experimental design and execution with developing student skills in information literacy and writing.
Descriptors: Introductory Courses, Cytology, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Science Laboratories, Critical Thinking, Scientific Literacy, Books, College Freshmen, Research Papers (Students), Writing Skills, Molecular Biology, History, Student Evaluation, Outcomes of Education, Information Literacy, Research Skills, Periodicals
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
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