The purpose of education is to empower individuals. Knowledge provides a base of understanding. Critical analysis enables discovery. Speech and writing allow for intellectual discourse.
I encourage students to incorporate experimentation into their daily life and to strive to improve oneself and the World.
- Display passion for the topics you teach.
- Highlight the great achievements in your field.
- Explain the pathway to discovery.
- Detail the historical context.
- Show the relevancy of the topics to students' lives.
- Demonstrate how students might achieve such success.
- Continue engagement outside class with online resources.
- Provide weekly updates on breakthroughs.
Example 1: Green fluorescent protein (GFP) has become one of the most important tools in research. On the surface one may not immediately see the utility of this protein, yet the applications are numerous. While initially discovered in 1962, decades later advancements in molecular biology and genetics have exploited this incredible tool to visualize the movements, positions, and interactions of proteins tagged with GFP.Targeting and retention sequences can be employed to label organelles within a cell or show which cells express a specific gene. Observations can even be made in living animals. Modifications have led to variations in color, allowing multiple proteins to be simultaneously tracked. The importance of this discovery was recognized by the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Example 2: You may have been watching a TV show involving forensics and seen the scientists run tests on a tiny drop of blood or a single hair and wonder, "How do they get enough DNA out of that small sample?". Thankfully, we have a technique called Polyermase Chain Reaction, or PCR for short. Through this automated process, scientists can make essentially unlimited and highly accurate duplicates with as little 10 copies per 10 microliters (less than a drop of water). So, how does it work?
Instill critical thinking through an emphasis on skepticism and evidence-based approaches to problem solving
Mimic formats used by scientists (Talks, Posters, and Journal Articles).
Focus on clear scientific writing as it requires skill in exposition, description, and persuasion.