Lee University hosted the Mathematics in Biotechnology workshop, a five-day program held in Lee University’s science and math complex.
Twenty-nine math and science teachers from Bradley, Hamilton, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea and Sevier county public and private high schools learned techniques and lessons from Lee university faculty and received professional developmental assistance with core standards in their biology curriculum. Participating teachers received the necessary laboratory equipment with which to return to their schools and replicate the experiments with their students.
The MIB workshop focused on demonstrating ways in which to implement mathematics standards in statistics and modeling in laboratory activities. The experiments conducted provided instruction for the preparation of DNA for analysis (or other processing), separating fragments, and for altering the structure of proteins through various types of exposure, causing the protein to become biologically inactive.
The initial experiment was executed by professors Dr. Lori West and Dr. Sherry Kasper. The attending teachers analyzed the resulting data, using methods their students will also employ. Dr. Blayne Carroll and Dr. Debra Mimbs provided introduction to the mathematics principles while Dr. West and Dr. Kasper instructed the laboratory procedure and data analysis. Dr. Eric Moyen conducted sessions on pedagogy to help teachers implement the lessons in their high school classes.
Dr. West said, “I personally was very pleased with the workshop and am looking forward to working with each of these teachers in the future.”
“I have taught for 13 years and this was among the best workshops I have attended. I can apply virtually all of the activities and techniques I learned in my classes this coming school year.” said Jeannie Cuervo of Cleveland High School. “Our students will definitely benefit from this.”
Melissa Mynatt of Seymour High School said, “The MIB workshop was a resounding success in my book; congratulations to you and supporting faculty and student staff for providing a meaningful week of professional development.”
Dr. Carroll is an associate professor of mathematics, maintaining a specialty in Graph Theories and Combinatorics, and has developed and created many courses including Discrete Structures, Combinatorial Mathematics, Game Theory, Graph Theory and Mathematical Modeling.
Dr. Kasper, an assistant professor of biology, was named by the American Physiological Society as the 2006 recipient of the Mead Johnson Award in Endocrinology and Metabolism, and the Caroline tum Suden/Frances A. Hellenbrandt Award which honors the best abstract for research in the field of endocrinology and metabolism.
Dr. Mimbs is an assistant professor of mathematics. While in her doctoral program she taught Mathematics Modeling, Topology, Pre-calculus Algebra and Calculus. An alum of Lee, Dr. Mimbs was the recipient of Lee's Mathematics Education Award and the Natural Sciences & Mathematics Departmental Award her senior year.
Dr. Moyen is director of first-year programs and associate professor of education, serving as the primary professor of pedagogy and Lee University liaison for a number of Teach American History grants. Along with his teaching duties in the Helen DeVos College of Education, Dr. Moyen has served as coordinator of the "teaching coaches" faculty development initiative.
Dr. West is an associate professor of biology, trained in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, and has taught DNA techniques for the past six years, performing graduate and post-doctoral research in DNA mutagenesis. Since arriving at Lee in the fall of 2006, Dr. West has taught courses such as Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics, and Biotechnology.
The MIB Workshop was funded by the Improving Teacher Quality Grant program, a professional development initiative for teachers to increase their knowledge and competency in math, English or language arts. The project is funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee. Five online follow-up meetings will continue this fall.