Discover the Microbes Within!: The Wolbachia Project
An Arthur Vining Davis Foundation Science Education Program


Program Coordinator:
Program Coordinator: Hege Lizarralde

Course Date: March 31 – April 2, and April 7-9, 2017

Overview Article (PDF) | Course Website

Discover the Microbes Within! is designed for high school biology educators in an effort to modernize biology labs and lesson plans with discovery-based labs, biotechnology, and symbiosis. This integrative lab series is founded on the principle that students want to learn science the way science is done, and in so doing, students enhance their understanding of biology and scientific inquiry while collecting reliable data new to the scientific community. The four core goals of the project are:

  • Engaging high school students in nature and real-world research
  • Encouraging nationwide participation in the collection and of new scientific data on bacterial endosymbionts (Wolbachia)
  • Enhancing student interest in science through an integrative lab series spanning biodiversity to molecular biology
  • Showing students what it is like to be a scientist

Key Features of the Lab Series

  • Workshop: As part of our ongoing effort to train high school teachers to bring “discovery science” into their classrooms, this teacher education program will be offered jointly with Bridgewater State University (BSU) and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL). It will be held on the campus of BSU over two weekends in April, 2016, and will include teachers-in-training and current high school teachers interested in introducing a hands-on lab series into their biology classrooms.
  • Credit: It will be possible for attendees to take the course for Bridgewater State University credits. For Massachusetts teachers, Professional Development Points are available upon completion of the workshop.
  • Loaner Program: A free thermal cycler loaner program is available from MBL to teachers who implement the lab on polymerase chain reaction. Our objective is to integrate this cutting edge technology to your classroom for no costs.
  • DNA Sequencing: Teachers can coordinate a free sequencing collaboration with MBL to determine the DNA sequence of a gene from Wolbachia. Students can then use these sequences in a Bioinformatics lab.
  • Travel: Meals and all education materials will be covered. Participants should make every effort to secure their own funding for travel. In the event that travel support is not available, we can support travel for a limited number of teachers.