(July 22, 2013) -- Last week, nine local high school teachers on the UTSA Main Campus polished up their understanding of microbiology with morning laboratories such as Introduction to Microscopy Techniques, Introduction to PCR and Electrophoresis, and Subculture and Differentiation of Microorganisms.
In the afternoon, the teachers sat in on topics such as Cell Wall Structure, Recombinant DNA Technology, Eukaryotic Organisms, and Vaccinology.
The lessons are part of a program offered by the UTSA Center for Infection Genomics (CEIG). Ultimately, the program aims to increase the pool of talented high school students pursuing microbiology research careers.
UTSA began the program in 2011 with John Jay High School in Northside ISD and Thomas Edison High School in San Antonio ISD.
"We've provided them with the curriculum, supplies and equipment they needed to introduce the Medical Microbiology class at their schools, including textbooks and microscopes," said Raquel Shrager, program manager. "Our scholars and graduate students also visited the classes and helped with lessons and laboratory exercises to get it off the ground."
Since Fall 2011, UTSA biology faculty and graduate student fellows have regularly visited John Jay High School students and introduced them to various specialized areas including insect borne diseases, pulmonary infections, gastrointestinal infections and immunology. More recently, UTSA expanded the program to a class of students at Edison High School.
"Over the past year, we've invested a great amount of time helping the teachers develop their Microbiology courses. We've also offered hands-on workshops to help them polish their own skills," said Bernard Arulanandam, assistant VP for research support and CEIG director. "At the same time, the program compliments our robust graduate training program at UTSA as well. All of our doctoral fellows in the CEIG visit the high schools regularly to assist students and their teachers. It's a great experience for them as well."
This summer, the CEIG introduced the program to Stephens High School and Warren High School, both in Northside ISD. The CEIG plans to include even more schools in the future. In order to accommodate the overwhelming number of high school students interested in the new microbiology class, John Jay High School is increasing its number of Microbiology sections. There are more than 70 students interested in participating in the class this year.
UTSA's CEIG is funded by a five-year, $4.6 million grant from the Department of Defense's Army Research Office. It supports microbiology research, teaching and outreach activities that are aligned with the Army's priorities and serves as a conduit for the training of undergraduate, master's and doctoral students with an interest in Microbial Genetics and Infectious Diseases. The Center is housed in UTSA's larger South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases.
To learn more about the CEIG, visit http://stceid.utsa.edu/ceig/index.html.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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