Ginny Giacchino, Jeremy Peacock and Crystal Sutton
Giacchino and her colleagues, Peacock and Sutton, developed "Genes to Jobs," a biotechnology project that will introduce students at Monroe Area High School to science professionals and allow them to operate equipment used in research laboratories. Students will complete laboratory experiences that represent the major techniques used in the biotechnology industry. Such experiences include conducting DNA fingerprinting with gel electrophoresis and genetically transforming bacteria and purifying proteins through chromatography. The students will also use Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) techniques to test food for genetic modification and participate directly in long-term scientific research by performing genetic sequencing of local plants. This project will provide an academically rigorous and engaging learning opportunity to standard curriculum and expose students to biotechnology careers. The program will benefit approximately 450 students during the upcoming school year. The funds from ING will be used to purchase supplies to carry out the research and to buy durable, high-quality equipment that will benefit the students for years to come. Giacchino, a resident of Bishop, hopes the project will demonstrate to students that science is connected to real-world situations and give interested students an advantage in the biotechnology field. Peacock and Sutton live in Athens and Loganville respectively.