Seven students’ DNA proposals accepted

Convent of the Sacred Heart juniors recently had their science research proposals accepted by the Urban Barcoding Project. The students are, from left, Sabrina Carrozzi, Emma Novick, Kylin Askew, Emily Sabia, Alexa Granser, Claren Hesburgh and Grace McKenney.

Convent of the Sacred Heart juniors recently had their science research proposals accepted by the Urban Barcoding Project. The students are, from left, Sabrina Carrozzi, Emma Novick, Kylin Askew, Emily Sabia, Alexa Granser, Claren Hesburgh and Grace McKenney.

DNA has moved out of the lab and into the mainstream at Convent of the Sacred Heart (CSH), where students are studying genes in everyday life with scientists at the esteemed Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s DNA Learning Center.

Their studies have inspired further research into DNA barcoding with successful results for seven juniors who submitted proposals to a national institution for funding.

Three teams of eleventh-graders who are in the Upper School’s science research program were notified that their proposals for further research into DNA barcoding have been accepted by the Urban Barcoding Project (UBP), which will fund the research.

The UBP is a science education initiative that encourages high school students to study biodiversity using DNA technology. Students complete introductory workshops and then conduct independent, student-driven research projects using DNA barcoding.

Students are involved in all phases of the research process, beginning with project design and culminating in poster and oral presentations at a research symposium. Key components of the research cycle include writing a research proposal, fieldwork and sample collection, DNA isolation, amplification of DNA barcoding regions and analysis of DNA sequences.

CSH science research teacher Mary Musolino said the next step for the Sacred Heart students will be a day-long workshop held at the school in conjunction with Cold Spring Harbor’s DNA Center for Learning. In the workshop, the students will learn all aspects of DNA barcoding and will begin to test their samples.

Sacred Heart expanded its science research offerings and resources last year when it became a Cold Spring Harbor charter member, enabling Middle and Upper School students to work with scientists in hands-on experiments.

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