Toxicogenomics In Lab Academic Service Learning

We again used our toxicogenomics laboratory to reach out to students in the community. You can read about our previous ASL lab activities here and here. This year we invited 8th graders from Immaculate Conception and Holy Family Schools.

In this lab students genotyped themselves, using genomic DNA prepared from their own cheek cells. You can read more about the lab itself here.

I have asked the toxicogenomics students taking part for feedback. You can read their reflections on this activity in the comments section of this post.

I asked the students to consider:

  • How does your service learning experience relate to the objectives of the toxicogenomics course?
  • What did you observe?
  • What did you learn?
  • What worked in the lab? What didn’t?
  • Is there something more you could do to contribute to the success of the lab?
  • What have you learned about yourself?
  • What have  you learned about teaching?
  • What have you contributed to the students?
  • What values, opinions, beliefs have changed?
  • What was the most important lesson you learned?
  • How have you been challenged?
  • What impact did you have on the community/students?

31 thoughts on “Toxicogenomics In Lab Academic Service Learning

  1. To be honest I was very nervous about the Academic Service Learning. My fear was that, eighth graders of this generation are very arrogant and it will be difficult to have them listen to you. Moreover, they might not even be interested in what I have to teach.
    All my fears disappeared when I walked in class and saw that my group had just one student. I said hello and he responded in a polite way. Then I was calm.
    One of the objectives of this class is to learn the material, understand it and be able to apply it. Having to teach the material requires me to learn it, understanf it before I can teach it. I did just that by reading the lab over and over. Didn’t want Timothy to ask me a question and not be able to give him a “knowledgeable” answer.
    From this experience I learned that teaching is a lot of work and also needs patience. Certain question may be asked that you might feel the student should already know, but you need the knowledge and patience to give the student an answer. In addition, I was challenged to put my knowledge to test.
    At the end, the eighth graders made me realise that not all are arrogant as I thought and we had fun.

  2. After conducting the ASL lab, I was amazed at how interested the 8th graders were. Everyone was respectful and obedient. During our lecture before the lab, Dr. Gillespie asked some questions relating to the experiment and the 8th graders were sharp in answering those questions. There was no disturbances at all, the students were tentative and open minded towards the experiment.
    Originally, I thought that the students would lack interest in the experiment. I thought the 8th grade students were going to give us a hard time especially when it came to rinsing out their mouths to obtain cheek cells for DNA extraction. But it went smooth, any concerns or questions that the 8th graders had was responded to.
    We all got a chance to know one another during the centrifuge step of the experiment.
    We showed the 8th graders how to use a micropipette to collect a certain volume and even how to properly load their sample in the gel in the correct position. Like fast learners, they quickly picked up the micropipette and followed our instructions.
    With multiple reflections or comments from the 8th graders and their instructors, we as University students will be able to make necessary changes that could contribute to the success of the lab.

  3. I think communicating science is a critical component of any scientific undertaking. My service learning experience related to the objectives of the Toxicogenomics course by having some components of learning and teaching experience incorporated into a class room based experience, which will help me communicate science better in the future. I think I was somewhat nervous at first about teaching a student because I never taught anyone before. But after teaching for the first time, I think it was rather exciting. I observed that this service learning activity helped me apply my learned techniques and skills to help another student learn it as well. It was a great learning experience for me and I was able to show my learned techniques and skills to another student at the same time. I learned that demonstrating and explaining the lab step by step helped me reinforce this knowledge to memory. After performing the lab for the second time, I felt that I understood it better than first time and I was able to fully practice all the techniques that I learned before. I even understood the presented concepts better.

    This lab was more interesting than the previous labs because I got a chance to teach different techniques and skills I learned so far to someone else. I am glad that I was able to teach my student techniques such as performing a PCR lab, pipetting, filling a well in agarose gel, and interpreting the results from the agarose gel. These skills are necessary for every student because I think we all have to use these techniques in lab. The students that learned these techniques now will be one step ahead of the other students who doesn’t know these techniques. I think everything worked out very well in the lab, especially Dr. Gillespie’s lecture at the beginning of the lab because it gave the new students a brief summary of the lab. This helped the students understand what they were going to do and it was also a good foundation for what I taught my student. There wasn’t anything that didn’t work well in this lab because our professor and our teacher’s assistants were constantly walking around while we were teaching the students so we could have asked for help if we needed.

    I think the students were also great because they were well behaved and they paid attention to everything we taught them. It was interesting how my student carefully observed what I was doing so she can do the same. I think I contributed to the success of this lab by being very understanding towards my student because I made my student feel very comfortable before beginning the experiment. First, we gave a very short introduction of ourselves. Then we did the experiment and I explained some stuff about the lab while the agarose gel was running. After I finished explaining the lab, I answered few questions about college. My student was very eager to know what major is best for certain careers and how to do well in college. I didn’t mind answering these questions because I had the same questions before I came to college. In this lab, I learned that I am actually not a bad teacher rather I am a good teacher. But I never pictured myself as a teacher before but this lab showed me that possibility. I enjoyed this service learning experience very much because I was able to share my knowledge with another student.

    From this teaching experience, I learned that teaching is not an easy task because lot of hard work goes into it. I had to make sure I was prepared for the lab as much as possible and I paid lot of attention to my student to get my point across so she can understand it. For this lab, I read the Population Genotyping lab several times not because I didn’t understand it. But because I was worried that I won’t be able to explain this lab to my student in a way she would understand it. I tried my best to understand every little detail so I can teach my student to the best of my ability. It was a very intense situation for me but I was relieved of this tension at the beginning of the lab, when Dr. Gillespie gave the lab lecture. I saw that some students knew about some of the stuff that he mentioned in his lecture. This gave me a sense of confidence that when I explain the lab the students will know what I am taking about. I contributed my knowledge to my student in this lab and I hope in the future she can use this knowledge. In the future, when she performs a PCR I hope she will know what to do.

    This lab was a life changing experience for me and I also got a chance to explore the field of teaching. I think I didn’t realize that some of my values, opinions, and beliefs have changed after this lab. Firstly, I realized that teaching is a very hard job but if we are prepared then there should not be a problem. Secondly, I realized that not all eighth graders know a lot about genetics, but there are some that do know some things and we can add to their knowledge by helping then learn more. I think teaching and learning goes hand in hand. If one doesn’t want to give it or receive it, then it will not work. I was very lucky that my student was very open to receiving my knowledge and I am very happy about it. The most important lesson that I learned from this lab was that we have to treat every student differently because I had to simplify my vocabulary so the eighth graders can understand it. I have been challenged in this lab by teaching the information I knew to eighth graders. It was a big deal for me because I wanted to give my student the right information so I tried my best to learn the lab as best as possible.

    I think becoming a teacher comes with great responsibilities and we can’t just teach our students anything so I made sure my student knew what was happening and its purpose. My goal was to make my student understand the lab as much as possible. When my student understood the things I was talking about, I felt a sense of accomplishment because I was able to get my point across. I think my service learning experience has impacted both the community and the students in a very positive way. It helped eighth graders learn new techniques that they would not have possibly learned as an eighth grader. I think the students got an opportunity to see and interact with students and faculty in college even before entering college, so it’s a big achievement for them and their community. This lab made me realize that I gave something back to the community by helping students learn and sharing my knowledge with others. I think in the near future, these students might support another student just like us in a class room based or community based experience either as students or members of community.

  4. Genomics has only recently been studied as an open science. Prior to the Human Genome Project (HGP), between 1990 and 2003, the only individuals that experimented in genomics were essentially those who worked on the HGP. Each lecture this toxicogenomics class continues to give students a more practical sense of molecular biology. The class explains concepts from the significance of mutations to possible ways of preventing the mutations from occurring. Our service learning experience helped educate future scientist, journalist, etc to this newly emancipated topic. The middle-school students in the lab were very mature. The student that I worked with was very smart, attentive, and asked very good questions. I have learned that eight grade is the perfect age for a child to receive a higher level education. I feel the lab was very appropriate for the grade-level of these students. We captured their interest by personalizing the lab and allowing the students to isolate their own cheek cells. My student was able to understand the simple mathematics behind determining whether he had the Alu insert at PV92 of chromosome 16. He understood how to tell whether the insert was present on a single chromosome, both chromosomes, or neither. He was slightly concerned about what it meant to have the Alu insert and I reassured him it meant nothing at all. This service learning experience helped unmask the information that I knew because I was able to explain certain concepts to my student and sufficiently answer his questions. Ultimately if an individual can teach a certain topic, they have mastered that topic. My student came into the lab with future aspirations of becoming an accountant; however, after this service learning, I am sure he is reconsidering his future goals.

  5. The ASL assignment in my opinion was a very rewarding one. The 8th grade students from Holy Family Junior High school were very cooperative and understood the material we taught them. The academic serving learning experience was very well related to our toxicigenomics course because it involved for us students to understand and dissect the material before we were able to teach it to the other students. I observed that during Dr. Gillespie’s lecture. The students were very attentive and they were eager to participate in the discussion. They were very interested in the topic of discussing about DNA and understood the basic concepts of the structure of a cell.
    An interesting fact that I learnt during the lecture myself was that epithelial cheek cells that were utilized in the experiment are high reproducing number cells. If cheek cells are damaged due to a cut in our mouth or if we burn the lining on the top of inside of our mouth within several days the cells will discard the dead tissue and replace it with new cells. In the lab however we did encounter some difficulty. During the process of centrifuging the saline solution containing the cheek cells the pellet we observed was in our opinion considered small but after consulting with our TA he implied that the amount we needed would not throw off our results. Blotting the test tube on a paper towel was very helpful in expelling the leftover supernatant in the experiment. Blotting ensured that most of the supernatant was discarded leaving the pellet at the bottom of the test tube. We cautioned the students to be careful and reminded them not to discard the pellet. They were very careful in doing so. If there was something we could have done to contribute to the success of the lab I would have to say is we would have had warned the students prior to the lab not to eat anything. Any type of food left over in the mouth could possibly affect the process of extracting the check cells and the PCR trial. The students overall were very friendly and cooperative. They participated in having off topic conversations and we even found humor in performing the experiment. They also asked questions if they were unsure about something and always eager to learn. I learned that when students are inspired to learn they develop a fascination for it and become more motivated. Motivation is the driving force in the science community and the students from Holy Family were definitely motivated in every sense of the word.
    I contributed to the students experience by sharing with them my own personal experiences in junior high school and high school. We laughed and talked about the activities we done in high school. The advice we gave them was to stay in school and if you have a passion for something in the medical field stick to it and never give up. We encouraged them to decide on a career in the medical field because it is very rewarding and you enjoy the personal satisfaction that you have helped someone in need. In my opinion my first reaction to hearing that 8th graders were going to participate in this experiment, I was a bit skeptical. I personally thought they were going to be noisy and lose interest very quickly but in fact they were engaged in what they were being taught. The most important lesson I learnt was to always try to make a difference in the lives of others and they will be grateful for act of servitude. I believed my group members and I had a huge impact on the students. We gave them an experience they wouldn’t forget. They were able to enter the prestigious St. John’s University and walk out with a taste of the college experience. Students of the Holy Family were able to learn the value of hard work and the inspiration behind it.

  6. Overall I would like to say that this event was a great experience for both the older and younger generations of the class. Everything went smoothly and much was learned from both groups involved. It gave the younger students a chance to experience a college class which is much different and faster paced than what they are use to. They experienced a class outside of what they are use to learning and they were taught by people that were a little closer to them in age and sometimes that makes it easier to connect with. This service learning related to objectives of the course by teaching others of what we do and what we can do as a major. It broadens our abilities and the possibilities of the future. I learned that teaching is not easy. It requires a little bit of planing and thinking to make it work best for both ends. Not that it was taught badly but that it has to be more directed at a specific audience and modified for that audience. The children paid close attention and were great students where i believe that they understood the material. I was surprised at how well they were doing in the class. In all seriousness i was a little nervous that i was going to mess up or that they were not going to cooperate well but they did and it was a great class.
    I believe the kids ideas of college changed. When they first got there, you could tell they were a little nervous but after they got warmed up to us and the big arm tube looking things coming out of the ceiling they were fine. they probably came here thinking that college is a scary place for work and no fun but i think they realized its just not that bad.

  7. The objectives of the toxicogenomics class is to learn the material given to us and use it for other purposes such as teaching others. This is exactly what we did in the ASL lab. I learned how to do the lab and how to gear a lesson that was taught at a college level and change it up and explain it so an 8th grader will understand. The experiment went fine with no problems that ocurred the only thing that was diffucult was the fact we had to cross out parts of the lab because it was deemed to hard for the 8th graders to understand. I have learned that i will not be a teacher in the future because it is very diffucult to put something you already known into terms for others to understand, after this lab i have more respect for teachers because their job is very diffucult. I hope i have contributed the knowledge of things that were unknown to these young kids. The lab was great and it changelled me to go outside my comfort zone which is a needed thing in college.

  8. My service learning experience definitely related to the objectives of the toxicogenomics course because we not only did we communicate science, which according to our syllabus is ‘a critical component of any scientific undertaking’, but we also taught others about we do in the lab first hand. Through this experience I was able to gain confidence in my skills in the laboratory and hopefully show elementary school kids that science isn’t always as ‘boring’ as it may seem.
    At first I observed the same thing around the entire classroom-all of the kids sat quietly, with what looked like mostly blank stares, but as the day continued and we explained the experiment they seemed to get more and more interested and excited. It seemed as though, the more we told the students about the experiment, the more interest they showed. Within no time the students were diligently performing their own experiments and asking questions. After evaluating my observations I came to the conclusion that I have learned many things from this experience. I learned to have confidence in myself and my understanding of science. Oftentimes I don’t feel completely confident with the material I am learning even though I may really know it. This lab helped me gain confidence in myself because I was able to explain it to others, showing that I had a good understanding about what the lab was about. I also learned that teaching science is extremely difficult. Not only are the concepts hard to understand, but it is also hard to think of the simplest way to explain them. After teaching this lab I definitely think that the best way to feel confident about understanding what you are learning is to teach it to someone else, that way you know that you not only understand the concepts, but are also able to explain them in various ways. The most important lesson I learned was that teaching science requires extreme understanding and patience. This lab also made me become a strong believer in giving young students the chance to participate in activities like these, so that they can possibly discover an interest they never though they had.
    Although teaching seems to have its rewards, it also has its challenges. As a college student, I was challenged in a few ways by having to teach 7th and 8th graders about a lab like the one we performed on their visit. I had to think about how to explain the lab to students in the simplest and best way I could. This required thinking of alternate terms, and synonyms to use while talking to the students. Most importantly, this required my complete understanding of how the lab worked because I knew if I didn’t understand what was going on, there would be no way I could teach the lab. This challenge was definitely one I have never been met with before since I am so used to being the one taught versus being the teacher. I feel that if a student didn’t understand something the first time I explained it, it would be a challenge to then come up with another way to explain it to the student. After this experience I realized that the challenges teachings presents are all worth if you have truly contributed something to your students. I hope that I inspired as well as educated the students. When I was that age I was brought on a class trip just like this one, and it really sparked my interest in science. I hope our lab had the same affect on some students or at the very least helped them have fun learning about something new.
    The simplicity and the ability of the students to basically do the lab themselves is what I think made the lab so successful. The students were able to use their own DNA and ‘extract’ it from their own cheeks cells. This lab also required a good amount of waiting time, during which the students were able to ask us many questions and really learn what the lab was about. I did my best for them to have an enjoyable experience and I don’t think I could have done more to contribute to the success of the lab.
    I hope that students took away the knowledge we had given them about the lab, but also a new outlook on science. I hope that this lab impacted the way they think about science, showing them that it isn’t always ‘boring’ and can actually be fun, and mostly importantly helped some of them discover a real interest and love for science.

  9. About one week before the ASL Lab took place, I was really afraid when the professor announced that the whole class had to participate in the same lab, but with eight graders. I felt that the eighth graders would lose interest and take this lab as a joke. When the day finally came, I walked into the lab and met with my group members. We were discussing what to talk about and how to help them understand the concept of DNA, the genome, and PCR. To my surprise, the two students assigned to our table were friendly and seemed really excited. As the each person introduced themselves, I found out they went to Immaculate Conception, but I had no idea where that was. During lecture, I was even more amazed at the fact that the students knew so many things about DNA.
    The idea of having ASL in a science class really contributed to a better understanding of the toxicogenomics course. Repeating the same lab helped me to better remember what I was learning and that performing the physical part of lab was important. I learned that teaching science to someone else is quite hard, but it was helpful that the students knew what they were doing. Science is not something that can be memorized like history or be solved like a math problem. It requires some thinking. Learning science means understanding the concepts. Overall, the most challenging task was to know everything about the lab in case students had questions and how to explain things in a simpler way. The way the lab was set up with lecture before the hands-on activity, made things go smoother. It is easier to learn or go over something before actually doing it. Otherwise, there will be confusion. Using this lab with PCR was a good idea because it wasn’t hard and the steps were simple. I hope this has contributed to the students’ learning and that they enjoyed working in the lab, putting what they learned to use. During the lab, I observed that if a person puts their heart into something, it will not go to waste. The way the students wanted to learn and the way that I actually prepared myself by looking over the material, gave the impression that challenges can be taken down. Effort leads to success.

  10. Before the class I was very nervous about Academic Service Learning.I read lab a million times to make sure that I know all the material about the experiment.I really wanted to teach 8th graders how to perform this lab and to understand all information about the experiment.My fear was how 8th graders will get all the material and how I’m going to explain it to them.When the class started with Dr.Gillespie’s lecture,he asked 8th graders the questions relating to experiment I saw that they already know a lot of things about genetics.My fear went away.My group had two 8th graders, they were so smart.They understand everything that we did in lab.At the beggining they were so shy,but later they were interested in the experimnt and asked a lot of good questions.I was surprised how the 8th graders can do the lab almost by themselves with a little help.
    After the experiment I learned that teaching is really hard job that need a lot of work.You always have to be prepared and really know the material to explain it for students.You have to know material perfectly and be prepared to answer all the questions that students might have.I think that teaching is helpful because it also makes you to learn more information from the students.I hope I did a good job a this experiment and passed my knowledge that I got to 8th graders.

  11. I must say that teaching the eighth graders this lab was one of the more memorable things that I have done since I’ve been in college. It was personally rewarding being able to teach what I learned in class with others. The eighth graders were very well behaved and eager to absorb what we had to say.
    This ASL experience certainly relates to the toxicogenomics objectives. Teaching science, especially genetics is not easy, however this experience put us in the position where we had to be able to effectively communicate and explain some complex concepts. It helped me gain a good understanding of this lab especially.
    First thing I noticed about our guests was how well spoken they were, I don’t remember being that respectful and mature at that age. Which is why I expected the eighth graders to be more of a handful. I’m glad to say that my expectations were way off. They were really easy to talk to very attentive.
    This experience as taught me the importance of being able to communicate effectively. Teaching the lab required the use of analogies and using examples that the kids could relate to. This was definitely the most challenging part because we had to have a thorough understanding of what was going on in the lab in order to be able to answer their questions. I think this was a great lab to show the students because it was simple yet required understanding of some basic concepts like how genes work to pass on traits. Furthermore it was interactive and the waiting time gave us a chance to get to know the eight graders and answer any questions as well as make sure they knew what was going on.
    Overall I think this lab was beneficial to both the younger and older students. It challenged us college students to be able to communicate what we learned and hopefully it gave the younger students a positive outlook on learning science. Most importantly I hope they got further motivation to continue their schooling after High School.

  12. As the students from Holy Cross piled into our room, I was a little nervous but mostly excited. When I met the students my group and I were going to instruct, I forgot how quiet and shy 8th graders were. It was nice to teach someone what I learned just the week before. I think this is the idea behind the whole Toxicogenomics course, to be able to connect and teach others about new forms of technology used in the science field for all different types of experiments.
    Several things i observed was that the students didn’t need much help. They were able to grasp the concepts and reasons for the experiment very easily. I, also, observed that the only difficult part of the whole experience was to make sure the students understood the concepts behind things like what is PCR and how is it used. We would ask questions like ‘Did you understand that?’ or ‘Do you know why we did that step?’ and we would just get a quick, silent nod, which to us wasn’t a yes, but wasn’t a no. We didn’t mind explaining the procedure again and in different terms but we didn’t want to be the annoying people who just wouldn’t quite talking.
    I think that the small groups worked very well in the lab. It gave everyone a better feel for the experiment and it made things a little more comfortable. We were able to call the students by their names instead of having to remember the names of a whole class for a short time. However, I do think that we should have let the young students be more independent with the experiment. Our group kind of helped them along each step and we always told them what was coming next. I think the STJ students should have acted more like Ali does in our regular lab. He just sets things up and if we have questions we come to him instead of him helping us along with each step. I think it would have been more of an adventure to figure things out on their own for the younger students.
    Through this experience I think I learned that I am pretty good with explaining procedures in a very understandable fashion. I was able to sit down and explain DNA and the role PCR has in amplifying a gene with pictures and words that the students were able to understand.
    It was different to step into my teachers’ shoes and face the daily challenges they face when teaching students. Making things clear to people who don’t know much about the subject takes practice and selective language. you can’t use big terms that are associated with the subject without thoroughly explaining all of them. We actually discussed this in our first paper discussion in lecture class. Writing science is almost like teaching it. It has to be fun, clear, and easy to understand.

  13. When I went to lab for the Academic service learning segment, I was filled with anxiety especially because of my not knowing of how the 8th graders were going to receive us. We worked with the 8th grader named Timothy or ‘T-Dogg’ as the group warmly dubbed him. As the lab progressed, Tim asked questions about certain points about the procedure and some answered him. We also asked him questions to make sure he was paying attention and he answers those well. He was well engaged within the lab and I could most definitely say that with the help of my colleagues, Tim was able to feel more comfortable rather than apprehensive to the task of first meeting us and next working with us. Overall it was a neat experience to see how much our student has learned from the group. I could have attributed more to the group’s efforts when it came to the explaining of certain parts of the procedure, by talking more of the procedures as a reinforcement. It didn’t occur to me to do so at that moment but If it’s one thing I learned about myself, is that the fact that if I cannot convince myself of the facts, then I wouldn’t be able to convey the same to one I am supposed to teach. I also learned that I was expected to make mistakes so long as I knew what they were and if am able to quickly correct them. It wasn’t as challenging as I internalized because the 8th grader we got was very open minded and down to earth. Not to mention sharp and he really got a handle of the situation. It really was an awesome experience.

  14. When I first heard that I was going to do an ASL lab for Toxigenomics, I did not know what to expect. I have done academic service learning for my Discover New York class last semester; therefore I was not unfamiliar with the concept. This though was an altogether new experience. Coming into Toxigenomics class, I thought this was just going to be another science course, one similar to Biology, where memorization would be one of the biggest components. However, now that we are through almost most of the semester, I have come to realize that Toxigenomics is not just memorizing processes or different parts, it is about understanding what is occurring in the human body and applying it through writing. Toxigenomics is the first class that I have ever taken that has a writing aspect that goes along with the course. All of the writing that I have done in this course has reinforced and enhanced everything that I have learned in both lecture and lab. This ASL lab has further strengthened my knowledge of Toxigenomics by allowing me to apply what I have learned in lab and spreading my knowledge of this course to the very cooperative and intelligent group of 8th graders from Holy Family Junior High School.
    As I was standing in the room during Dr. Gillespie’s lecture, I noticed that most of the eighth graders were very quick to respond to his questions. This showed me that they were not only interested and enthusiastic about the lab, but that they also understood what was being discussed. Knowing that they understood what was generally going on facilitated our teaching of the lab. The students, however, were not the only ones that did the learning in this lab. Interestingly enough, I learned that epithelial cheek cells reproduce in high quantities. As Dr. Gillespie noted this explains why after a few days after burning the inside of our mouths, we do not feel the burnt skin, but instead newly produced cells. This occurs because the burnt skin is discarded and replaced. I enjoyed learning this fact and I could tell that the younger students were also intrigued by the discovery. As we moved along with the lab, we noticed that some things worked and some did not. One thing that caused some trouble was how much of the pellet was needed to guarantee a successful procedure. However, after consulting with Dr. Gillespie, it was determined that there was sufficient amount to proceed with the experiment. One thing that did work was the blotting of the supernatant, where the screw cap tube was repeatedly hit on paper towel in order to remove the supernatant and isolate the pellet to prepare it for extraction.
    The students were very comprehensive of the fact that the pellet was not to be discarded because of its importance later on. I think that in order to ensure that the lab can be more successful, we all could have told them to not have eaten anything. This could have improved results providing for a larger number of cheek cells to take for testing. The ASL lab has opened my eyes to my potential if I apply all that I know. I was pleased with the fact that I knew so much about this topic, making it a clear-cut task explaining to the younger students certain aspects of the lab. I remember there was a part in the lab where I had the privilege of explaining to them why we were heating and centrifuging the test samples many times. It gave me a special satisfaction sharing what I knew with them. Feeling this made me feel as though I was a teacher, making them understand some of the ideology behind the lab. After all doing something without knowing why it is being done is pointless. I am thankful for feeling that satisfaction that teachers reverberate time after time. I think that I managed to contribute to the student’s understanding of molecular genetics and the luxurious aspect of genetics. I told them how expensive the micropipetters that they were using were, and they could not believe it. They were also surprised at how costly it would be to get obtain a karyotype.
    When I found out that we were going to teach 8th graders this lab, I honestly had a biased mindset. I thought that they were just going to lose interest and not be into the topic whatsoever. In spite of this, their attentiveness completely surprised me. This taught me to never judge a book by its cover, and to always put every ounce of effort into everything that I do. I feel honored to have given them an experience of a college lab, one that they will eventually undergo, but will never forget. I believe that my fellow classmates and I provided these bright 8th graders with a great opportunity, one that in the end managed to benefit not only them, but us as well.

  15. This ASL was a great experience for myself. I really enjoyed the time we spent with the 8th graders. This specific experiment was related to my toxicogenomics course because the technique we used to amplify the DNA sequence was called PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). PCR was one of the technique that scientist is use to amplify a small amount of DNA sequence through the gel electrophoresis. The result will show whether the students have the “Alu sequence” or not. There are three possibilities: +/+, -/-, and +/-. Homozygous (+/+) means having the “Alu sequence” on both the paternal and maternal chromosomes. Homozygous (-/-) means not having the “Alu sequence” on neither of the paternal and maternal chromosomes, and finally, heterozygous (+/-) means having the “Alu sequence” on one of the paternal or maternal chromosome. I read the lab manual many times to make sure myself completely understand the experiment, and I tried to explain it in my head in little steps. I did not expect them to know a lot of information about DNA and all the genetic information but to my surprise, many of them were able to answer Dr. Gillespie’s question during the lab lecture! They were all very friendly and were willing to participate in the experiment. It required patience and communication skills when I was working with the students during the lab. Although they were a little afraid to rinse their mouths with the saline, we insured them it was safe and it does not hurt. Teaching and explaining to the students had helped to understand the experiment even more and working with my group had helped me to learn to work with others in a group.

  16. The service learning serves as way to reinforce the material we learned during the lab. By performing and teaching the lab to the kids, it proves to our TA’s and professor that we learned and understand the material that was taught to us. I learned teaching isn’t easy. When teaching a lesson, you must find ways to reach all kind of student. You must assure yourself that after you have explained the material that everyone in the room will comprehend and understand the information. i learned that some students will be responsive to what you teach them while others may not be at all. I noticed that some students seem interested while others wanted to get the day over with. I didn’t see anything that went wrong or didn’t work in the lab. I felt things went well, everything was planned well and ran smoothly. The challenging part of this was just making sure I was ready to answer any question that kids asked. You must be ready for anything that is asked, lab related or not. Also you must be honest with the kids because they can sense BS a mile away. I felt I have exposed these kids to something new and interesting. This experience may spark a fire in them which may result in hopefully at least one of them becoming more interested in science research. I would feel good if i was the spark that led to one of these kids becoming a future scientist.

  17. When I was told that I had to teach other students, I was nervous because I never had to do something like this before. When I was told that they were 8th graders, I did not think they would care for what I have to say. However, when I met the students, they told me that their trip to St. John’s was not for class but an extracurricular activity. It was also a relief that we were working in pairs to aid the 2 student visitors. My partner was able to simplify information that I could not and vice versa.

    I believe that this was a good lab to do because it introduces a lot of concepts and techniques. In this lab we discussed DNA, polymerase chain reactions and gel electrophoresis. We taught them how to use the centrifuge and micropipette. Teaching requires creativity and patience. When a student does not understand a concept, we have to come at it with another approach. Body language and figures makes concepts easier to visualize and the first hand experience makes it easier to understand what is happening.

    I had a great time and I thought this experience was a very rewarding. This lab thought us how to communicate science to others who do not have the background we have. In addition to that, it gave the students the experience of working in a lab. Many of the students were very willing to participate even at 10:30 in the morning. They answered question and actually performed the whole lab on their own. Since there was a lot of waiting in this lab, we also got a chance to tell them what college was like and even though college was a couple of years away. Hopefully this experience sparked an interest in science for the students but more importantly, I hope they had as much fun as I did.

  18. Service learning involves being able to communicate science. Communicating science is a huge component of the toxicogenomics course as we discuss scientific papers on a weekly basis. I believe when you truly understand science or any subject for that matter, you will be able to discuss it in your own words rather than give textbook definitions and explanations. This is how you know you mastered the topic. Therefore, for this Academic Service Learning (ASL) component, it was essential for us to master the material and be able to discuss it in our own words. The visiting 8th graders would have never understood what we were talking about otherwise.
    The 8th graders seemed a bit intimidated by the lab (I would have been intimidated myself). But as Dr. Gillespie explained them the lab through his simple techniques and humor, they were able to lighten up. They actually knew a lot more background information on DNA than I expected them too. I think that the visiting students I taught came out learning a lot. They were nervous to conduct the experiment, but with careful guidance they loosened up and enjoyed learning new laboratory techniques.
    I learned how important it is to be able to communicate science. It is important to know the material yourself, but as we become more involved in research and in more complicated fields, it is important to be able to communicate and explain exactly what we discovered or learned to others. Without effective communication in science; lives, time, and expensive equipment are at stake.
    Being able to give simplified explanations and definitions is definitely a good technique to teach. It was also helpful to how the visiting students watch us conduct a procedure before they did it themselves. It was not very effective to simply instruct the visiting student what to do verbally because it was the first time they were using this equipment and they were nervous and confused.
    I feel that this lab was successful. However, if I were to modify it to make it even more successful I would make college students become even more active. For example, maybe we could have written a simplified version of our lab manual for them ourselves. This would help us learn not only how to communicate science to visiting students verbally but also to communicate to them through writing and diagrams.
    This ASL component taught me more about myself. I learned that it is easier for me to learn scientific material if I actually take the time to be able to simplify definitions so that I fully understand it rather than memorize definitions from the lab manual and textbook. I also learned that the information sticks in my head better if I communicate it out loud rather than in my head.
    I learned that teaching involves being able to adapt to your students. Each individual learns material better in different ways, rather it be through reading, lectures, or visual diagrams. It is important to keep an open mind about all different teaching techniques. It is also important to watch out for the students that are shy. My students for example, were on the quiet side, which meant I had to constantly ask them if they understood the material and were ready to move on, just in case they were too shy speak up.
    I think the visiting students came out of this experiment knowing much more than they came in with. They were anticipating their results, and were fascinated by some of the lab equipment. I also think they became more familiar with the structure of college science labs and teaching techniques.
    When I first read on the syllabus about this ASL component, I did not expect to get out of it as much as I did. I expected to have an easy lab teaching younger children. I did not realize that how crucial it would be for me to master the material on my own first. I also did not realize how hard it would be to be able to simplify in depth science for younger children.

  19. Initially when I heard about this assignment, I was incredibly nervous and wasn’t sure if I was really all that capable of explaining a lab to an 8th grader. The week before when the professor was explaining our role in this assignment, I was quite afraid of not being able to retain all of the knowledge needed to explain the lab to the students. As I read the protocol and went through the slideshow, I realized that it wasn’t all that bad, but I wasn’t sure how dealing with 8th graders was going to be.
    As lab began and the students settled down, Dr. Gilesspie began to run through the powerpoint with the students, and I realized that the students weren’t completely lost, and that they actually had some background information on the lab they were about to perform. We soon introduced ourselves to our little group of student, and began to review the lab. At first I noticed how they were a bit shy and weren’t really responding to our questions, but as we slowly went through the lab they began to respond and actually started to ask questions. I was utterly shocked at the questions some of the kids asked, because I didn’t expect them to be so interested in such a topic; being 8th graders.
    In the end, I really enjoyed this experience. Because as Dr. Gillespie said earlier this semester, the best way to assess your knowledge is by either writing it all out, or by teaching it. By teaching the 8th graders it allowed me to better understand the concept of this lab and to re-asses a few of my misunderstandings as well.

  20. Before the lab session started, I reviewed my notes and then I explained the objectives to the students. They were very receptive and focused on the task. They were very curious and were eager to get as much information as possible. For example, I drew diagrams of what they might expect to see in the gels, so they understood what they were looking for. After the lab process was explained to them, they immediately commenced. As the session progressed and they became more and more engrossed in their work and I realized how satisfying it is to work with kids who have intellectual curiosity and are inquisitive. It is probably the most important quality for students to have if they want to work in scientific fields.
    Their eagerness to learn was key to the positive interactions and the learning experience.

    The lab was not tedious because of their positive attitudes and eagerness to complete their tasks. The students commented that they were a little intimidated before they arrived, but then constantly gained confidence because they understood what they were doing and what they were looking for. They felt pride and satisfaction at the end of the session because they were able to complete a college lab session. I thought it was interesting that they felt that I was a senior with extensive lab experience. It was particularly rewarding experience for me because one student was so excited and confident at the end that she felt encouraged to pursue a pre-med major at St. Johns.

    Most of the session progressed smoothly. One aspect that caused a little difficulty was the micropipette. They could not grasp how to use this productively.

    I did not feel challenged at any point during this lab session, but I did feel enthused by their excitement and energy. I learned that in a calm environment young students can grasp concepts if they are focused and have the interest and curiosity.
    I could sense that this experience had a positive impact on them. This made me realize the importance of exposing students to science even before entering high school and planting a “seed” for scientific exploration. This experience might stimulate them to take advanced science courses in high school rather than shy away from them. If they see it as fun and positive, it might pave a path towards science that students might find intimidating and beyond their capacity.

    This type of scientific exposure should be encouraged as it could benefit the young students by building confidence and benefit college students who must think about describing the scientific process and present it logically and in an organized manner and thereby becoming more disciplined when doing future lab work.

  21. I believe that the ASL lab was an overall success and a benefit to the 8th graders and ourselves. Before the lab had begun I made an attempt to remember myself as an 8th grader, to see if i can somehow connect to the students i would be teaching throughout the lab. Sadly, as an 8th grader I had no intentions of being involved in science courses during my time in college. So I began to panic and anticipate that the ASL lab would go over terribly. However, when Dr. Gillespie went over the introduction to the lab I came to the realization that some of the 8th graders had a general understanding of the topic. It may have seemed as if the same students were answering Dr. Gillespie’s questions, but that wasn’t the case. I was proud to see the two kids in my group muttering the answers to themselves. Sure it would have been if they had raised their hands, but I can only imagine how nervous it was to be in a more advanced class surrounded by adults.
    The fear and panic before the ASL lab quickly diminished after the introduction by Dr. Gillespie. I was able to find my voice during the lab and input anything i thought would help the students understand what was going on. My group and I attempted to draw pictures and explain any little detail that seemed to make either of the 8th graders stare into space for too long. This proved to be difficult because my 8th graders were shy and asked very little questions. At times they seemed to be too nervous to ask certain questions; whether it was cause of fear, nervousness, or both. As the lab progressed they warmed up to myself and my classmates, but only what seemed like to a certain degree.
    The 8th graders I had encountered during the ASL lab helped me understand how challenging it is to step into something for the very first time. Being the first time they had set foot into a college laboratory, they had no inkling of what they would learn from the class and the individuals teaching. Their reaction to what took place that day helped me come to the conclusion that every individual has something to teach to someone else. It is an immense challenge to connect with someone else and make sure they can fully grasp the point that you are trying to get across.

  22. I believe that the service learning project relates to our toxicology class objectives because we are teaching a lab that we have performed previously, therefore it gives us the opportunity to be positive that we understand the objectives that were covered in the lab. If we can teach it properly, clearly we have learned it. It was fun to observe the students when they were viewing things such as the gels from our results of the previous week, it seemed like a lot of them were interested in the fact that these results can be obtained from the cells just on the inside of our cheeks. I believe that for the most part the lab was successful and ran properly and the desired results were obtained. From looking around our lab room I believe we did a good job also of contributing to the success of the lab. Everyone seemed to know what they were doing and the students seemed to be having fun interacting with us in lab also. This lab made me realize that teaching can be a difficult thing, especially when the students are younger than us. It made me have to figure out different, more simple ways to break down words like annealing and denaturing. I think that was one of the biggest lessons I learned from this experience, just because I understand the concept doesn’t necessarily mean the people or student around me does. So it was necessary to make sure they didn’t have any more questions before moving onto the next step. Overall however I believe the day was successful, and hopefully the students enjoyed themselves as much as our class did.

  23. I thought that the service learning project was fun because it was unique to any service experience we have done for St. John’s University. The lab experiment itself was able to encompass all of the main ideas and concepts that we have learned thus far in toxicogenomics. It was able to test our skills in a different way because the lab experiment didn’t just require us to follow a lab manual for completion. We were required to fully understand the experiment and “why” everything happens the way that it does. Sometimes it is more difficult to explain to another person of the activities that we do and learn about because we have to explain the experiment in simpler terms. It really made me look at the experiment in an entirely different way because I had to understand everything about the lab activity in order to explain it to the student to best of my ability. It was nice to see the students interact and they seemed really interested in learning the material as well. Our students were very eager to try things on their own and participate as much as they could. I learned that it is much more difficult to explain concepts to a younger student than it would be to a peer. I think it helped that we already completed the experiment ourselves in an early lab because we were able to know all of the steps without having to refer back to the manual. The service project also made me realize that I am not as bad at teaching younger students that I thought I would be. It seems that we were all that age so long ago but in reality, it hasn’t been so long since we were in their shoes. I would certainly want to do something like that again because I think it benefited both the students and my peers. It made me realize that it is important for us to remember the main/basic concepts that we learned long ago because we can only build upon the information that we know.

  24. During one of the toxigenomics lab sessions, I had the pleasure of participating in ASL project involving a group of 8th graders from nearby schools. The objective was to teach a small group of students how to do a specific experiment but little did I know, I would get more out of the experience then the younger students.
    The lab itself was fairly simple and the students were wonderful. Each student participated whole heartedly during each part of the experiment and asked plenty of questions about each step of the experiment. They learned basic information about DNA and how genes are isolated in order to observe and understand them. But this also reinforced my own understanding of the subject and has helped me prepare for future questions on the subject. And along the way, they asked more personal questions about college, education, and life in general.
    What I loved about this project were those questions that couldn’t be answered from a book or reading. The questions about how college should be approached, what to take seriously, how to deal with academic issues when things are tough. Although they have years to go until they hit the college application chaos, they asked questions about the process and how I made my choice of St. John’s University. Just because we were in an academic environment didn’t mean they had to ask academic questions and as a fellow learner, I was able to learn from them as they learned from me.
    I learned to relax again from the pressures of the everyday routine of STUDY, STUDY, STUDY. Instead of worrying about a quiz or how long the lab would take, I got to work with a student whose only goal was to learn; a goal I have quite forgotten in the process of learning. They reminded me that grades are not the real reason for coming to college and I should enjoy the experience of going to school (although sometimes I question my sanity). Along with that, I learned the joy of being around younger students (not 5 year olds, but 13-14 year olds who don’t need to hold someone’s hand all the time) and that is probably the greatest experience. This wasn’t a nursing home service or feed the homeless service where you see people just trying to survive but a type of community service where you see simple joy from doing what you love to do and imparting it to others.
    I think that is the true purpose of ASL and this particular project truly help me experience that feeling. It should be done more than once in this type of setting.

  25. Without the slightest doubt of confidence in this statement, I must say that the activity our class conducted on the morning of March 23rd with the 8th graders from Immaculate Conception and Holy Family will be one of my favorite memories of my time as a student at St. John’s University. I was impressed by the students on so many levels. For one, I was impressed by the intelligence of the students, not only were they eager to perform the experiment, they were equally well knowledged in the various features contributing to the experiment. For one, they seemed to have an elementary, but sufficient grasp of DNA, and its importance to humans both genotypically and phenotypically. In addition to their impressive scientific knowledge, I realized a level of maturity in the students that I would have never imagined for children entering early adulthood. Well-mannered and eager to learn, teaching these students was less of a task and more of fun exercise that not only reinforced our (St. Johns University students) comprehension of the laboratory experiment; it also gave the eighth graders a peek into college life. My “student” Timothy was a very bright student with great promise. Along with my table mates, El-Shawn, Nancy, and Adedayo, we gave Timothy several tips on how to be a strong high school student, ideas for future courses of study and support to continue his impressive academic success. It was great because I not only enjoyed the activity but I got to help out at the same time. Hopefully the students take their experience with our class as an inspiration to pursue a career in science, particularly at St. John’s University. I hope my fellow classmates enjoyed the activity as much as I did. We may have all influenced these students in ways we will have never known.

  26. On Wednesday, March 23, 2011, the Toxicogenomics class took part in teaching 8th graders from a local junior high school. As student teachers, it was our responsibility to run the lab and teach the students in an effective and fun way. As we completed the lab, I realized that I have observed and learned many things about teaching and confronting people.
    The thought of teaching a lab was disturbing at first because of the potential things that can go wrong in a lab. The experiment could have been ruined if we did not keep the DNA sterile. However, I overcame all the worries when I realized that I have prior experience teaching younger students. It did not take me long to take authority and realize that I was the one in charge. The students were surprisingly very cooperative and understanding. It did not take very long for them to understand the material. A challenge that I had at first was guessing the prior knowledge of the students. I did not know what they previously learned in school until they were able to properly respond to the questions I had for them. The only troubles I ran into with the students was when I was using more sophisticated language to explain the materials. They started to give a confused face. At that moment, I knew that I needed to slow down and re-explain the material in a simpler way. I believe that if we had 3D structures of the chromosomes and blocks to take out of the chromosomes to represents the different genes, it would have made the material easier to understand.
    Overall, I found the ASL lesson very interesting and helpful. It is easy to escape our minds how hard it could get to teach a lesson. Perhaps the one thing that the lab did for me was to know my material well. It can get embarrassing if the students ask a question and I am unable to answer the question. I feel that the lab was a great experience and that we should have more of these labs.

  27. As I was talking to them about the purpose of this experiment, they were interested and asked a few questions. However, when I explained the procedure and some details to them, they understood part of the things I say and were oblivious to others. This taught me that teaching is actually harder than to being taught and learning things. Especially when teaching younger kids and or to people who has limited to no knowledge of the topic, you have to put it into simple words and make examples that are known to them from everyday events and experiences. My students raised some questions that were challenging to explain in simple words. Such as one such question was what transcription is. My partner and I thought of it for a little bit and explained it bit by bit so they will understand what transcription is and how it is carried out in the organism. They found transcription to be fascinating because now they know what one of the major biochemical processes is always occurring in their body. It was a good thing that we worked in pairs because it would be difficult to teach two students. My partner and I helped each other during the procedures of the lab in explaining and informing them on the steps of it. I hope this experience for them will assist them to choose a major when it’s time for them to go to college.

  28. On March 23 I walked in to my toxicogenomics lab dreading the following three hours. I was not scared of performing the experiment since I had studied it the night before thoroughly, I was simply terrified of the kids I had to teach. I have very little experience with children since I am the youngest of three and also the youngest in my family of cousins. I also happen to be a very bad teacher since I have absolutely zero patience for anything or anyone. My lack of patience has nothing to do with kids but the simple fact that I can’t teach a concept that to me juts comes naturally. Because of all this reasons I was not very enthusiastic about spending three hours teaching kids about something I did not 100% understand myself. My expectations did not match up with my reality.
    Teaching the kids about genomics was pretty simple. Dr. Gillespie tough the subject to me in a simple manner that made it much easier for me to remember and obtain my own analogies in order to explain the concepts to the students. The students were also a lot smarter than I gave them credit for. They interacted with me and my partner ad were interested in learning more. They also asked intelligent questions. I came in to the lab with a negative attitude that was turned completely around. This exercise showed me that in toxicogenomics it is not only important to listen and to learn but to be able to take my experiences and knowledge and share it with others. The students were cooperative and interactive with me and in return I reciprocated their actions. I was surprised as to how much I actually liked explaining to them how the human genome worked. The lab steps were followed as written and there were no complications with our experiment. Since the procedures had a lot of waiting time we talked about what they wanted to go to college for, what high school they were going to attend, sports, and even the T-Mobile and AT&T debacle. I was surprised to find out they both wanted to go into the medical field. I suspected that at the age of 12 or 13 a person would not have a career picked out, at least not a specific one. They however knew exactly what they wanted to do without a doubt. That reminded me a little of myself at that age since I knew I wanted to be in the medical field since I remember. I gave them advice as to what courses to take in high school and to always remember that academics it’s not everything since schools look at extra curricular activities also.
    This experience tough me a lot. I came in to the lab with the wrong attitude towards teaching and I learned myself that if you have just a little patience and are passionate of what you are teaching then the experience won’t be so bad. I learned that interacting with kids is not as bad as I made it out to be that and that in the right circumstances there could be a wide variety of topics you can talk about. I think the biggest lesson was that I actually enjoy teaching and it could be something that I would consider to do in the future.

  29. When I entered into the field of toxicology as a potential major, I didn’t know that we would be doing so much writing, OR teaching. I was surprised when I found out that a lot of scientific writing would be done. One of the objectives of Toxicology is to know the material thoroughly, and what better way to do that than to teach it to someone else? Teaching those 8th graders really helped me understand the true essence of laboratory work and toxicology.
    Something I observed was that these 8th graders were unusually very bright. The two students at our table were able to make connections a lot faster than I was able to in Middle School. We didn’t have to go much in depth about certain topics that we originally thought we needed to explain. However, I learned that the approach that you give to the students must be something that keeps them engaged. When I explained a concept in a relatable way, the students found it easier to understand it. What we thought we could just blatantly direct, we couldn’t, because further explanations were needed. However, the things that we thought were too difficult to understand, and required more knowledge, the students understood very quickly. The students were so bright, that they lost focus sometimes. If there were one thing I had to regret, I’d wish I had kept their focus more towards the lab, rather than the others things they wanted to talk about.
    What I learned about myself through this ASL experience is that it’s very easy for me to relate to students. I’m able to successfully interact with them and understand what they’re struggling to understand. But I also learned that teaching is much more difficult than people make it out to be. It takes a lot of patience and preparation from the teacher. As the teacher in this situation, I believe that the students that were taught by my group had a good understanding of cheek cells and how to determine whether or not they had the Alu gene.
    As a student, I believed that it’s best not to ask questions in class. I always felt like it took away from the main direction of the teacher’s lesson. It was unnecessary and I always made an effort to meet a teacher AFTER their class, so as not to disturb him mid-session. However, after I taught these students, I understood the necessity to ask questions as soon as you have them. This way, it’s less confusing to answer them later on.
    The most important lesson that I took away from this experience is to always be patient. Because when you’re not patient, you lose the student’s respect for you. Instead of getting upset and frustrated over a student not understanding a concept, break it down for them in an easier, relatable manner. This way, it’s applicable to them and they can remember that concept or fact. I know that this experience has challenged me in that as soon as I have any issues with anything I’m learning, I know to address them immediately. I’m glad I made an impact in two students lives. I’m glad I taught them something that they will use later on to benefit the scientific world. To know that they were taught by the knowledge I had to share motivates me to continue learning, and to teach my children, as well as those around me, in the future.

  30. The overall Service Learning Experience was a great success but it was not at all what I was expecting. In our generation today, we hear horrid stories about how 8th graders are neglecting their youthful minds and are getting involved with serious altercations that can lead to a damaging future. Society today is consumed with the new technologies that have brain washed our children. With all of this in mind, I was expecting to be approached by ignorant, spoiled little children but instead received two adorable, knowledgeable and respectable young ladies. They seemed very excited and intrigued as to what we had planned for them. We began our lesson by explaining to them the step by step procedure and slowly guided them throughout each process. I was very observant as to what they were doing and how they approached each step. I’ve learned from this teaching process that’s its all about patience and absolutely loving what you’re doing. You need to have a sense of passion for the information you are about to teach or else you won’t be able to keep your students interested. My group made the environment fun and easy for them because the biggest challenge is to take a complex topic with complicated terminology and simplify it so they have a better understanding because it wasn’t an easy topic to comprehend. We followed each step with “Do you have any further questions?” When it came to the equipment such as the pipette, we demonstrated how to properly handle it and the purpose behind its use and the children couldn’t be any happier to do it themselves. They handled the equipment with great care.
    This whole learning experience changed my perspective because it showed me how challenging teaching can actually be and I gained a greater appreciation to all the educators in our world today. Without them we wouldn’t have the respect, knowledge and motivation to succeed and I hope one day to pass on the knowledge that these educators have provided just like we did that day in lab!

  31. Doing ASL in lab, was something I have never done before and never really planned until I came into this lab. One way that this service learning experience related to the objectives of the toxicogenomics course is that many times, students learn the information and procedure, but they do not apply it in any way. By teaching other students the information, I felt as if I had a way to not only just retain the information that I learned, but tell others about it which is not something many students do often.
    As I was observing the student, I noticed that she did not know most of what was going on. She had no idea what not only the procedure of the lab was, but the main concept. Therefore, my group had to inform her what the main purpose of the lab is. However, when we asked her some questions about the lab while we were explaining, I also realized that she was able to understand a lot during the lecture (that was before lab). We had to teach her how to use a micropipette and what the lab was about in simpler terms. I learned that when teaching other students about it, especially those that have not learned anything about the lab, it is better to put things more concisely instead of using the jargon that college students typically use. Everything worked in the lab by following the procedure with her. I think one thing we could have done to contribute to the further success of the lab is to go over with her more information and facts about the overall abstract concept of the lab rather than just the procedures.
    I was actually scared to teach other students, but I learned that I was able to communicate clearly and follow the directions that were there. The student was able to ask questions and follow the procedures once it was read to them and I was also able to inform them about what this lab was about. I’ve learned that teaching is not just about showing them how to do it, but showing them what the main purpose of the lab is and connecting it to the relevant details of the lab. I’ve also realized that teaching requires a lot of preparation such as knowing the facts and the basis of the procedure of the lab.
    I think my opinion on how teaching is the most effective changed the most. I have realized that teaching is much more effective in certain ways such as demonstration. I have been challenged to get rid of my fear of teaching others and providing the students with information. I’m glad I was able to provide the students with a more in depth knowledge of not only how to do the lab, but how it is associated in society.

Comments are closed.