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Molecular biology in the classroom

Friday, 25 May 2012


Students from Woodvale Secondary College have boosted their science skills in ECU’s labs.

The visiting year 12 students partnered with ECU’s School of Natural Sciences second year cellular and molecular biology students for a two-week experiment to test their scientific skills.

Students inserted a jellyfish gene into bacterial cells and induced the bacteria to produce the jellyfish protein which fluoresces green under UV light. Both ECU and Woodvale students were assessed on the experiment, which focuses on a number of skills, including biotechnology and experimental design.

“The experiment is visually stunning but also educationally useful,” said School of Natural Sciences Senior Lecturer and workshop organiser, Dr Annette Koenders.

“For high school students it was a chance to get a greater understanding of a University science degree, while for our own ECU students it was a chance to put their skills into practice, while also mentoring a younger generation.”

Visiting Woodvale student Katie Booker is hoping to be a future scientist.

“I really enjoyed the whole experience – it was really fun and interesting and we wouldn’t have been able to learn as much as we did without the help of the ECU students,” Katie said.

ECU Marine and Freshwater Biology student Sara Monaghan agreed.

“We’ve never done anything like this before, it was really interesting and I definitely enjoyed working together,” Sarah said.

The visit is part of an ongoing partnership between ECU and Woodvale Secondary College. For more information contact Dr Annette Koenders.


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