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Biotech Battle

Any idea trypanosoma brucei parasites are? Ask Senior Gabby Wilson—she’d be happy to teach you. Literally. Wilson has spent months researching them and preparing a presentation for the 2012 Student Bio Expo. Wilson is one of twenty SHS students heading to Bellevue to show off her project in the Bio Expo on May 24.

On March 27, the two SHS biotech courses will battled it out for twenty precious spots at the Northwest Association of Biomedical Research Bio Expo this month. Ten of them went to Stacy Lischke’s Agricultural Biotechnology students, the other ten to Louis Boggeri’s Biotech students. The competition is stiff and features various kind of projects—ranging from art projects, to lab projects, with journalism and creative writing projects also featured. According to Lischke, the point of the Expo is for students to take a topic, become an expert, and then define their topic in layman’s terms for the public.

Stacy Lischke says her students have known about the Bio Expo since last year. They started brainstorming in September and chose their topics in November—topics that cover everything from Horse Genetics to the Swine Flu. “I’m very proud of what people are producing,” she said of her class.

Senior Kerry Kane used a more creative approach to her project—a collage she called “Painting a Picture with the Genetics of the American Paint Horse”. She also is going to Bellevue. Kane was not worried about competition from Boggeri’s students. “They don’t have a teacher as awesome as Lischke,” she bragged. She encouraged other students to take AgBiotech because of the “awesome” projects they do, such as injecting chicken eggs with colored dye to make multicolored chicks.

Across the promenade, in C Building, Boggeri’s students also were preparing for the show. “Usually, when you think of science, you think of nerds and lab coats, but this project allows students to show their knowledge in a creative way,” noting the Expo’s diverse range of project types. His room stored teaching aids and three dimensional models.

Wilson will be using the teaching aids for her project on Trypanosoma Brucei Parasites—something her mentor studies. All Biotech students were assigned a mentor, and many of them worked with their mentor on their project.  Senior Jalyn Buckley is also working with her mentor on the project. “I go to the UW…and we conduct an authentic experiment,” she explained. Buckley’s project is on Drosophila Oegenisi under RNAi and GAL4-UAS, which are ways of studying genes.  Both girls enjoy the class and suggest that others explore it as a science credit. “It’s a fun class—you do a lot of fun labs,” said Wilson.

During the SHS Expo on March 27, all three girls qualified for the Expo. The projects will be on display at the Bio Expo at theMeydenbauer Center in Bellevue, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on May 24.