After 20 years of teaching science, my Fund for Teachers grant let me experience again what it means to be a student and 'do' actual science in a laboratory.
Houston, TX (PRWEB) October 09, 2013
The newly announced Nobel Laureates in chemistry relied on research conducted in the 1970s to develop their award-winning work. Jan Post wanted his students at the Oklahoma School for Science and Math to comprehend this relationship between years of research and results – so he became part of the process this summer using a Fund for Teachers grant.
For five weeks during his summer break, Post worked under Professor Jamie Cate at UC Berkeley’s molecular biophysics department. Becoming a student again, Post researched how soon the protein chain folds up into its final 3D structure after it forms at the ribosome. By performing this short project and presenting his findings to gifted high school juniors and seniors, he hopes to inspire students to embark on careers in science-related fields.
“In my biochemistry class, I emphasize how the important fundamentals of biochemistry followed from many years of hard work in the lab,” said Post. “To make that fact less abstract, I wanted to give a good example myself of how lab work leads to actual results. Young people don’t fully realize that knowledge follows from hands-on experiments.”
Post designed this fellowship using a $5,000 grant from Fund for Teachers, a national nonprofit that invests in preK-12 teachers’ personal and professional growth to then advance student achievement.
Post worked alongside graduate students and post-doctoral students, most of whom were half his age. His research focused on trying to test the stability of the ribosome-protein complex. His results will be used by a starting graduate student who will continue the project for a PhD dissertation.
“After 20 years of teaching science, my Fund for Teachers grant let me experience again what it means to be a student and 'do' actual science in a laboratory,” said Post. “To reconnect with my roots, so to speak, re-energized me to encourage my students to pursue opportunities in the life sciences. I will emphasize that laboratory science is hard work, but can be extremely rewarding in personal terms.”
Teachers interested in designing a fellowship to pursue this coming summer may apply online at http://www.fundforteachers.org. Individuals may apply for up to $5,000, teaching teams $10,000. Applications are due January 30, 2014.
Fund for Teachers enriches the personal and professional growth of teachers by supporting their pursuit of learning experiences that impact their practice, students and school communities.