Development of an Animal Models Systems Laboratory: for Undergraduate Students
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Students will work in groups through learner-centered instruction to design and carry out experiments using one of four model systems listed: Drosophila melanogaster (Fruit Fly), Caenorhabditis elgans (Roundworm), Dugesia tigrina (Planaria), or Danio rerio (Zebrafish). Student groups will design a novel experiment and hypothesis, based on the current literature. The students will be responsible for the animal husbandry of the models; C. elegans, D. tigrina and D. melanogaster. Student groups will perform experiments in weeks 4-6 and analyze their initial findings for their model organism. Following initial data analysis, students will repeat the same experiments or refine their experimental design and then perform experimentation in weeks 9-11. Repeating experiments is a necessary component of scientific research, typically an experiment is repeated at least three times to show that the work is reliable and verifiable, a very important element of research. Students will then spend the next two weeks working in their groups, analyzing data and preparing their oral presentation. During the oral presentation students will present their findings to the class, which will strengthen their oral and written communication skills.
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