Students share genetic research with classmates

Photo by Avan Clark

Photo by Avan Clark

ALBANY -- The topics ranged from the cloning to sickle cell anemia.

After researching their subjects last week, Albany High School sophomores and juniors showcased their biology knowledge before their classmates in the school's third annual Genetic Symposium in the school's media center Monday.

Biology teachers Amanda Holmes, Liz Arnold and Virginia Coleman will help lead the weeklong symposium, which will have about 110 individuals/groups giving presentations by Friday.

Following the rigorous curriculum of instruction based of genetics area of the Georgia Performance Standards, the students used PowerPoint presentations to inform approximately 100 students about genetic disorders and the various technology used to gather the information. Snacks and drinks were provided to the students by the biology department.

Juniors Jailyn Rambo, Nickala Kendrick, Charles Norvell and Amber Benson each presented to the students their genetic research on cri-du-chat, cloning, biopharming and sickle cell anemia, respectively. The five- to 10-minute presentations included facts, diagrams and photos. Beyond asking questions, audience members provided feedback to the biology teachers on the student presentations by filling out surveys.

Kendrick's research on cloning garnered the most questions from the crowd.

"I liked being able to inform my audience about the topic and to publicly speak about cri-du-chat since it's a rare disease," said Jailyn of the intellectual disability.

Amber liked researching sickle cell anemia, a disease that affects her family.

"This is very important for students to learn about diseases they may not have known before," she said.

Speaking before the large crowd didn't faze Amber.

"It's actually pretty easy," she said. "I love science and learning about the human body."

Spectator and junior Kwanesia Ellis said the research uncovered at the Genetic Symposium was interesting. She also found it useful since she'll be presenting later in the week.

"There's so much going on and you should be able to know what diseases you could get based on your partner," she said. "I was impressed because I have to present Thursday. I learned how to project so everyone can hear me and don't laugh."

Third-year teacher Holmes said the symposium helps students to think outside-the-box.

"Usually, I deliver the information, but now the tables are turned and they get to research a topic and present the information to their peers," she said. "This gives them the opportunity to learn the material and see how it affects them. They actually get to see the practical applications of biology."