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Texas Wesleyan University’s Upward Bound students donned goggles, gloves, and lab coats to learn about chemical reactions and DNA. Don’t worry – they’re not solving any crimes. But they are learning about DNA by extracting it from strawberries in the biology lab. Others are learning about the phases of cell mitosis using cookies. And another group worked in the chemistry lab to study chemical reactions and to see if solids can form from liquids.
Their experiments are all part of a six-week program for Upward Bound students and Upward Bound Math and Sciencestudents, who have been on campus expanding their academic skills. Students learned the culture and language of French; read War of the Worlds in English class, where they learned SAT vocabulary and also wrote essays; practice multiple labs in biology, chemistry and physics. Students purified DNA, performed PCR and gel electrophoresis as well developed a poster and will present as their final in the biology research class.
Heather Berlin, a chemistry teacher at North Side High School, said this learning environment is great for the students.
“These hands-on science opportunities allow students to get a kinesthetic feel for laboratory procedures as well as a visual reinforcement of learning and application,” she said. Berlin is teaching both biology and chemistry to the Upward bound students.
Texas Wesleyan’s Upward Bound Team
Faby Rodriguez, Upward Bound programs director, has worked for the TRiO programs for nearly 14 years. She began at Texas Wesleyan in January 2004 as the coordinator for Upward Bound Math and Science. This spring, Rodriguez was promoted to Director of the Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science programs.
Natalie Thomas ’04, UB coordinator, joined the Upward Bound team in May. Prior to returning to her alma mater, where she majored in English, Thomas was the academic coordinator with the UB programs at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth.
Sharon S. Hernandez, UBMS coordinator, started with Texas Wesleyan’s UBMS program in June. She previously worked for the TRiO program, Talent Search with the University of Texas at Arlington. Hernandez is a UBMS alumna through the UTA UBMS Program. A Presidio native, she graduated from UTA, where she majored in microbiology.
Up Next for Upward Bound Students
The end-of-the-year ceremony will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, in Martin Hall, followed by light refreshments at Lou’s Place.
Their end-of-the-year trip will take place July 25-26 will consist of rising seniors who visit Stephen F. Austin, Grambling State University, Louisiana State University, University of Louisiana – Lafayette – and go on a Cajun Swamp Tour.
The following week, the group will go on various college, career, and cultural trips, including Baylor University, Midwestern State University, Scottish Rite Hospital, and Medieval Times.
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