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Hydro Teacher Benefits from Research Opportunities Provided by SWOSU NSF Grant

August 9, 2011

National Science Foundation Grant
Hydro Public School teacher Kerri Kirby (left) and Southwestern Oklahoma State University Assistant Professor Dr. Andrea Holgado have been working together thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation. Kirby will take the experience back to her classroom at Hydro Public Schools.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University and Dr. Andrea Holgado recently received a $9,750 grant from the National Science Foundation for research experiences for teachers.

Holgado, an assistant professor in the biological sciences department at SWOSU in Weatherford, is mentoring Kerri Kirby, a science teacher at Hydro Public Schools, with the help of the NSF grant.  In this unique educational experience, Kirby is allowed the opportunity to independently create and develop molecular biology experiments where she cuts, cleans, and ligates plasmid DNA.  She is allowed to do real science where she uses trial-and-error along with data analysis to determine the experimental plan.

The research opportunity has provided Kirby with improved laboratory skills to take into the classroom.  She has been provided the skills to devise labs that require problem-solving skills using data analysis and inquiry methods.  She also will have more opportunities to lead students into biological research through a collaborative effort with Holgado.

Holgado guides a team primarily consisting of undergraduate students in studies of neurobiology using the microscopic worm C. elegans.

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