The Gene ConnectionTM
The Gene ConnectionTM, the San Mateo County (California) Biotechnology Education Partnership, supports teachers with the equipment, supplies, reagents and expertise necessary to do meaningful experiments with DNA. Two part time Educator/Technicians hired by the partnership prepare reagents, provide technical expertise, coordinate workshops and support teachers. A driver hired by the partnership uses a van owned by the San Mateo County Office of Education to transport kits from school to school. Since kits are booked from September through June, there is no time for the kits to go back to the laboratory at Cañada College for cleaning or restocking between visits to schools. Therefore teachers using the kit are responsible for seeing that the kit is useable by the next school. Necessary reagents and new supplies are sent directly to the school and where appropriate, receiving teachers restock the kit. This program works because we have many dedicated individuals who make it work.
Teachers are trained at workshops lead by Gene Connection Educator/Technicians and partnership teachers, at their school sites by lead teachers and partnership staff, and in workshops offered by nearby partnerships.
In addition to some of the labs developed and classroom tested by Gene Connection teachers we have posted a Generic Lab Report Rubric and the complete inventory lists for the Gene Connection traveling kits.