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Grad Students Teach High Schoolers to Explore Evolution

Posted September 27th, 2010 by staff

Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species over 150 years ago, yet his evolution revolution still remains a central tenet of modern day biology.  On Monday, September 20th, over 70 students from Dallas, Siletz, Kings Valley and Junction City high schools came to OSU to participate in a workshop entitled DARWIN’S LEGACY: MODERN EXPLORATIONS OF EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, as well as attend a Knudson lecture by Peter and Rosemary Grant, famous for their work with Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos Islands.

The students, mostly in Advanced Placement biology courses, learned about speciation, island biogeography, evolutionary genetics and natural selection through a variety of hands-on activities and games led by graduate students in related disciplines.  The BIO-GradS (Broader Impacts and Outreach by Graduate Students) collaborated with Kari van Zee of STEPs (Scientists and Teachers in Education Partnerships) to put together the workshop, securing funding from OSU’s Office of Precollege Programs and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

In addition to the workshops and lecture, the students were treated to a dinner and discussion with undergraduate and graduate students, answering questions about the day’s activities in addition to general campus life.

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