Innovative Programming – Allentown High School
At Allentown High School, our agricultural science programs are utilizing technology found in the industry and in the post-secondary setting. Students in the biotechnology course utilize electrophoresis chambers to analyze DNA fragments, the thermal cycler to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to prep DNA for further analysis, and various Vernier LabQuest sensors such as the spectrometer and temperature probes. Lastly, as an integral part of these processes, students utilize computers to analyze DNA fragments.
Students also utilize technology across the agricultural science program. As a part of their Greenhouse Management course, students use soil moisture probes to track the water needs of plants, temperature probes to compare greenhouse glazing effects on soil. During their Animal and Plant Science, students use carbon dioxide sensors, temperature probes, dissolved oxygen sensors, and conductivity probes. These same probes are used in their Wildlife and Aquaculture course to continuously monitor water quality and fish health, providing a great interdisciplinary learning opportunity. To summarize their learning across the agricultural science disciple, students utilize word processing, presentation, and analytical software to conduct research and complete lab reports.
During a lab, students develop laboratory protocol to extract DNA from Kiwi Fruit. After the protocol is written, students must execute the lab. The DNA will be used in a future experiment.
After students have extracted DNA from the Kiwi, they must next make agarose gels for electrophoresis. Students then restrict bacterial DNA samples with various restriction enzymes. They compare the restriction sites among the different enzymes. They also compare the unrestricted kiwi sample for distance from the well