Alu PCR for a New Generation

It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, it’s Barbara’s Jumping Genes!
Bringing Scientific Spotlights and NGSS to an old favorite: Alu PCR

On Saturday December 8, 2018 twenty-four teachers from across the bay gathered to see our new NGSS updates to this classic classroom PCR lab activity.  We explored Barbara McClintock’s Nobel Prize winning work on Jumping Genes as an anchoring phenomenon for learning about common non-coding regions in everyone’s DNA called Alu Transposable Elements.  See the new curricula here.

The workshop was conducted by Debbie Clark, who teaches biology and biotechnology at Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo. She introduced our new Lesson Plan which walks through all the detailed steps needed to teach this activity in an easy and straightforward way, so that it is accessible to all kinds of teachers and learners!

Feedback from teachers after the workshop:
“The workshop on Saturday was easily one of the best I have ever attended.”
“You always give great presentations!”
“I will recommend similar BABEC events to my colleagues with great enthusiasm!”
“Excellent workshop. I attended the last one too, and look forward to the next one”
“This curriculum will be perfect following heredity and going into evolution”
“Depth, pacing, and pedagogical techniques all seemed on point”
“Good modeling teaching technique”

    Amanda Cherry
    Paradise Valley HS
    Phoenix, AZ

    The curriculum materials are beautifully prepared and easy to understand-thanks for preparing such great resources that are easy to use.

    Byron Gougoumis
    Burton HS
    San Francisco, CA

    All Babec labs are well organised and modelled effectively with clear, helpful procedural instructions, easily transposed to the classroom.

    Gianne Souza
    Lincoln HS
    San Francisco, CA

    The online resources are SO well done! The best I have ever had. Very little modification to make them clear and easy to follow. I have done two BABEC lessons and they are so well made that they made teaching online fun again.

    Heather Johnson
    Burlingame HS
    Burlingame, CA

    When doing the BABEC labs I consistently hear students say they feel like "real scientists."

    Marianne Gudmundsson
    Glenbrook South HS
    Glenview, IL

    Well organized and scaffolded; flexible structure and can be used partially or as a whole. This unit can be used as is...superbly written and thought out...incorporates many skills and allows student collaboration and student choice/voice.

    Rocky Ng
    South San Francisco HS
    South San Francisco, CA

    Thank you for creating these curriculum materials. I am beyond grateful for the quality lessons, on-the-point figures/videos, and easy-to-navigate biotechnology curriculum.

    Thi Ngo
    Capuchino HS
    San Bruno, CA

    The level of support really made the whole process easier and encouraged me to continue incorporating biotech into my curriculum. Thank you for the live assistance during the labs and for responding to inquiries so promptly and with such urgency.

    Anonymous Teacher

    Really well thought out curricula. Great to see "old" activities that have been re-imagined with lots of consideration to NGSS.

    Anonymous Teacher

    This was the best educational workshop I have had the honor of attending, and I am so thankful.

    Anonymous Teacher

    Wonderfully executed. Strengthened my skills. Thank you!!

    Anonymous Teacher

    BABEC has such a strong positive impact on teachers and students - thank you for your amazing work!