Integration of Bioinformatics into Inquiry Based Learning by Kathleen Gabric.
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Integration of Bioinformatics into Inquiry Based Learning by Kathleen Gabric
The Biology WorkBench is a revolutionary web-based tool for biologists. The WorkBench allows biologists to search protein and DNA databases around the world. Database searching is integrated with access to a wide variety of analysis and modeling tools, all within a point and click interface.
bi·o·in·for·mat·ics The use of mathematical and informational techniques to solve biological problems by using computer programs. One of the main applications of bioinformatics is the data mining in and analysis of the data gathered in genome projects. Other applications are amino acid and nucleic acid sequence alignment, protein structure prediction, and virtual evolution.
Science Inquiry The science and education communities agree that investigative science is a highly effective way to teach science. In this way, students build their scientific understanding and investigative skills through active inquiry, connecting their previous knowledge with new ideas and evidence. Design Investigate Construct meaning Connect
Students learn about the Human Genome project by using real data from Argonne Laboratories. Dr. Kay, a father of a District 86 student, is the contributing scientist. DNA Sequence Sequencing DNA
Lorenzo’s Oil Students take a real DNA sequence and translate it into the amino acid sequence using Biology Student Workbench Students then mutate the original DNA sequence in different ways and translate each mutation Finally students compare the original protein to mutated variations
Lorenzo’s Oil As a result, students learn about missense, nonsense, and silent mutations through a hands on activity In their own explanations of what happens to the protein they use words like substitution, deletion, addition, and “frame”shift, early stop
Basis of Human Genetic Diseases Students identified genes that were linked to human disease states. Students used bioinformatic tools to identify the disease process from gene to protein to disease state. Students created a website to display their research.
Outcomes & Observations Understood the basis of human genetic diseases. Connected symptoms to biochemical imbalance Predicted means of treatment Understood the difference between treatment of symptoms and curing the disease Realized the power of bioinformatics and how they could use it in future research……Evolution
Outcomes & Observations Understood the basis of evolution on a genetic level. Correlated genetic evolution to organismal evolution. Realized that “our” similarities are greater than our differences.
Overall Outcomes and Observations Integration of bioinformatics into the high school classroom using inquiry methods was successful. Students were able to use the tools to generate real data, but more importantly were able to apply these applications and independently problem solve. Students showed a greatly increased ability to make connections between units of study: protein structure, protein function, nucleic acids, genetics, genetic disease, and evolution. Students performed research that will be used to guide future research in UIUC’s cell & molecular biology laboratory.
Student Comments on Biology Workbench Even though it was quite confusing at times, Bio-Workbench was highly beneficial to our learning experience. It was interesting to use the same computers that real scientists used to do their research. The using of bioinformatics was key in the expansion of our minds. It helped us get more involved with the concepts we were learning since it made everything more realistic It helped save time and make information clearer to me. it also gave me visuals for things that I wouldn’t have been able to picture from just reading about, it helped me understand amino acid sequences a lot. It has allowed us to connect DNA to real life. We are able to see how little a change in DNA how great a change they could have upon the final product.
Thanks to my hardworking Biology Classes To see the projects they have done with bioinformatics visit our website https://www.hinsdale86.org/staff/kgabric/HBprojects.html