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November 2008 - Vol 68, No. 3 - International Technology and ...

November 2008 - Vol 68, No. 3 - International Technology and ...

Once in the meeting room

Once in the meeting room with the other participants, Ibegan to feel the camaraderie that forms when teacherscome together. We came from different places but sharedthe common desire to enrich our students’ experiences inour classrooms. Everyone would be in multiple labs doingvarious research assignments with different teams. Whowould I get as teammates? I was told it would be Dr. DucoJansen and graduate student Jerry Wilmink.To get us ready for the experience, Dr. Stacy Klein providedan example mosaic (a group of modules to solve a largerchallenge) she had created that would be a template forthe module we would create as a result of our experience.The module was an in-depth look at EKGs that includedthe science, technology, engineering, and mathematics(STEM) involved. How could I create something this greatwith a limited knowledge of subject matter and experience?Anxiety once again appeared as I thought of what I wouldbe asked to do. Sensing some of the group’s discomfort,Dr. Klein masterfully eased our pain by telling us to enjoythe research and deal with the module part at the end.The three days of training passed in a flash, and it was timeto enter the world of research. I finally met my graduatestudentteammate, Jerry (now Dr. Wilmink). He wasobviously excited about his research project and seemedhappy to have a helper. After a thorough and interestingexplanation by Jerry, I was able to grasp the gist of theproject. What is HSP-70? What were the differencesbetween CO 2, Free, Diode, and HeNe lasers? Did he saysomething about bioluminescence using luciferin andluciferase? What is a tensiometer and bioluminescenceimagining? The questions came out faster than he couldanswer. However, he was very patient and eventuallyanswered all my questions over the next five weeks.with diabetic or cosmetic patients. The really neat partof all the research was how we collected the data. Thosesmelly mice were almost magical! They were geneticallyengineered to be bioluminescent. These transgenic mice hada special luciferase gene attached to their DNA that, whenexposed to luciferin, would emit light (compliments of ourfavorite summer insect, the firefly). By having the luciferasestrategically attached to the HSP-70, we were able to see (byuse of a highly sensitive camera) where and how much HSP-70 was present in the mice.Why was the presence of HSP-70 so important? The reasonis that previous research had indicated that this protein wasa major part of the wound-healing process. The HSP-70 actslike an emergency response team whenever there is traumain the skin. The more that is present, the more quicklythe affected area can begin the repair process. It was veryexciting to see the hypothesis being tested and finding it tobe true!Needless to say, the next five weeks came and went at thespeed of laser light. It was time to go back to the group,share my experience, and create a module. Oh no! Howwas I going to take this research and make it into a fun andrelative experience for my students? The brainstormingbegan. “Students in the middle school did not have theneeded bank of previous knowledge to do what I did allsummer,” rang through my skull. Wait! That sounded awfullyfamiliar to a voice I had heard just a few weeks earlier.Working side by side with experts in a research facility wasso much fun! Who would have thought it? I certainly wouldnot have thought so beforehand. Participating in researchthat would have an impact on people was truly amazing. Ifmy biology and other science classes would have allowedme to experience this, my life may have been altered. Seeingthe effects of laser treatment to skin prior to surgery versusnontreated skin allowed me to grasp the role that HSP-70(one of our heat-shock proteins) plays in the healing processin our bodies.Basically, what I learned (from the medical perspective)is that by pretreating an area of skin with a laser, that skinwill heal faster and stronger than skin that is untreated.This new knowledge could be useful for surgeons workingSome equipment used in a module.26 • The Technology Teacher • November 2008

Ad IndexBall State University....................................... 27Sample of an eighth grade system.It was time to step out of the box and let students discoverand get as excited over the material as I had. So, with littleeffort, “The Challenge of Protecting the Mummified Troll”was born. The challenge charged the students to create alow-cost, invisible security system to protect the troll thatwas discovered in our school’s yard (not really, but I had anews story that said so). Through the process we learnedin our training, the students would brainstorm possiblesolutions, learn (as well as share) the scientific conceptsinvolved with light, research different types and applicationsof laser technologies, create a prototype of a system, andsell the principal on why he should choose their system toprotect our beloved troll.Goodheart-Willcox Publisher.........................7Hofstra University (CTL).............................. 18Kelvin Electronics..............................................3LHR................................................................... 18The College of New Jersey............................ 36WGBH............................................................C-4This past year, I used the module in my technology classmultiple times (my students are on a nine-week rotation)and was able to see excitement in my students. No morelectures and disconnected lessons for my students. I haveseen the excitement and caught its contagiousness in myclassroom. I want more!My application is complete for next summer. It is in themail. No more doing odds and ends jobs for me in thesummer! This time, I am taking a fellow teacher with me tocatch the excitement. Hopefully, after this next summer’sRET experience, other teachers will see the effect ourcollaboration has on raising the excitement level in ourschool. Maybe they will want to join us in making thelearning process a joy for everyone.Terry Carter is a teacher at HawkinsMiddle School in Hendersonville, TN. Hecan be reached via email at terry.carter@sumnerschools.org.27 • The Technology Teacher • November 2008

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