|Rachele Siegel (left) leads East Forest High School students in cell tissue culture as high school student Clairice Kalkhof (foreground) works in the sterile environment. Kalkhof’s classmates are: (from left) Matt Boyer, Katie Motter, Hunter Jackovitz and Cody Bowley.|
The Science in Motion Program, in collaboration with Clarion University biology professor Dr. Doug Smith and the department of biology, hosted a unique opportunity Feb. 8 for the East Forest High School advanced biology class.
At the request of East Forest science teacher and Clarion alumna Sherry Shaftic, Clarion University Science in Motion coordinator Karen Spuck and senior biology major Rachele Siegel of Oil City designed a lab in which students learned about cell tissue culture techniques.
During the day-long visit, Siegel taught the high school students, presenting the fundamentals of cell tissue culture and stressing the rarity of the occasion. According to Siegel, most students do not get the opportunity to learn how to prepare cell tissue cultures until graduate school.
Outside of her classroom studies, Siegel is researching with an optometrist the effectiveness of various contact lens solutions on biofilm removal. This research includes potential clinical applications in optometry, which will aid in Siegel’s graduate studies at The Ohio State University, where she will pursue a degree in optometry and a master’s degree in vision science.
Siegel reflected on her own history with the Science in Motion program, relating its impact on her academic choices.
“My experience with Science in Motion served as the introduction to a world of science beyond the pages of high school-level textbooks and fueled my desire to become involved in research at the undergraduate level in my chosen discipline of science,” Siegel said. “Without my early exposure to science beyond the typical high school classroom, I cannot say for certain that I would have pursued my chosen careen path.”
Biology seniors Kara Adams, Newton, N.J., and Andrew Knauer, Erie, also donated their time in assisting the high school biology class in the lab.
The Science in Motion program is supported by a Basic Ed/High Ed Technology Grant through the Pennsylvania Legislature and the Department of Education. The goal of the program is to improve science instruction at the secondary level by providing state-of-the-art scientific research tools for high school science teachers to use in their classroom. Clarion University’s Science in Motion program is directed by Dr. Bruce Smith, professor of education and assistant chair of the education department, and coordinated by Spuck.
Clarion University is the high-achieving, nationally recognized, comprehensive university that delivers a personal and challenging academic experience.