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Grant helps Meridian students understand new advances in biological research

Sheila+Rappe+received+her+grant+check+from+Jim+Barr+on+September+18%2C+2018.+She+shared+how+the+grant+will+impact+her+students%2C+%22I+think+the+lab+activities+will+give+the+students+a+more+accurate+picture+of+concepts+such+as+genetic+recombination+and+polygenic+inheritance.+In+addition%2C+any+time+students+can+actively+discuss+what+they+are+experiencing+through+a+lab%2C+more+learning+takes+place.%22
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Grant helps Meridian students understand new advances in biological research

Sheila Rappe received her grant check from Jim Barr on September 18, 2018. She shared how the grant will impact her students,

Sheila Rappe received her grant check from Jim Barr on September 18, 2018. She shared how the grant will impact her students, "I think the lab activities will give the students a more accurate picture of concepts such as genetic recombination and polygenic inheritance. In addition, any time students can actively discuss what they are experiencing through a lab, more learning takes place."

Sydney Moore

Sheila Rappe received her grant check from Jim Barr on September 18, 2018. She shared how the grant will impact her students, "I think the lab activities will give the students a more accurate picture of concepts such as genetic recombination and polygenic inheritance. In addition, any time students can actively discuss what they are experiencing through a lab, more learning takes place."

Sydney Moore

Sydney Moore

Sheila Rappe received her grant check from Jim Barr on September 18, 2018. She shared how the grant will impact her students, "I think the lab activities will give the students a more accurate picture of concepts such as genetic recombination and polygenic inheritance. In addition, any time students can actively discuss what they are experiencing through a lab, more learning takes place."

Sydney Moore, Reporter

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Imagine understanding the determining factor that makes you, well, you. The two genetics classes at Meridian High School are doing just that. They are taught by Sheila Rappe, who has been teaching in the Meridian district since 1994, previously teaching at Blue Mound in 1993.

A grant from the Illinois Retired Teachers Association Foundation, IRTAF, will help her students receive more hands-on experience with the topics they are learning.

“The study of genetics is vital to understanding the continuing advances in biological research. These laboratory activities will provide hands-on experience and understanding of human inheritance, DNA isolation, genetically modified organisms, and recombinant DNA procedures,” said Rappe.

The supplies purchased with this grant money will help students understand the topics, especially the 11 of 24 students who hope to go into science-related fields. The class will receive the following laboratory kits: Understanding the Human Genome, DNA Isolation, Eye Color and Polygenic Inheritance, Genetically Modified Food, a Plasmid Simulation, along with a dihybrid cross poster.

“Many of our advanced science students plan careers in the field of science and pre-college experience with these STEM activities, which will help them to realize the depth of genetic applications in their chosen fields,” Rappe said.

The IRTAF will award almost $36,500 to public schools across Illinois. The teachers submit an outline for implementing the project, how it will benefit the students, and what they hope to use the grant for. A committee decides based on what they find innovative in the classroom. They have given grants for an array of things, such as field trips, an iPad for an autistic child, and for an educator at a boys’ prison.

“The grants are reviewed by our committee, which is retired educators. Some of the things that they look for, they like to look for things that can be used in the next year, so books are very popular, but they also look for innovative things,” Charlie Chrisman, a field representative for the IRTAF, said.

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Grant helps Meridian students understand new advances in biological research