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CCHS steps it up in the science department

School now satellite learning center for molecular biology

Students at Colonie Central High School work on lab experiments. The school was recently selected to be a Princeton University satellite learning center for molecuar biology.

Students at Colonie Central High School work on lab experiments. The school was recently selected to be a Princeton University satellite learning center for molecuar biology.

— The Colonie Central High School is making sure students are going above and beyond in preparing for college, with its new distinction as a Princeton University satellite learning center for molecular biology instruction.

Jason Goldberg, a science teacher at the high school, had gone down to Princeton in New Jersey in July and August of 2010 for a series of workshops on project technology with 19 other teachers. He went for professional development but ended up walking away with something more.

“They asked me last spring if I wanted to host workshops,” Goldberg said. “They bought me a ton of equipment… HHMI [Howard Hughes Medical Institute] shipped it up here. Now I will hold teacher workshops for teachers around the Capital District and they can then borrow the equipment. We’ll use everything to run the same protocols here that we ran down there in their classrooms.”

Goldberg will now be hosting workshops for students around the Capital District with a three-year grant that bought him all of the new equipment. There have already been two workshops, one on Oct. 15 and one on Oct. 22, and there will be more planned for the spring. Goldberg said he wanted to start off small with just a classroom full of six teachers. He said in the spring he will open it up to teachers within a 50-mile radius of Colonie.

“Any teacher that wants to do this can put their name down,” Goldberg said. “We’ll take up to 12 for the first one.

Some items that were bought were laboratory tools such as a PCR, which is a thermal cycler used to amplify DNA. The program will not only benefit the teachers but it will also benefit the school’s students.

Goldberg said these skills will have students well prepared for heading into college, as he said New York State has recently lowered the standards of science instructions in schools around the state.

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