[FUN_Mail] Supporting High School Neuroscience Research

Acosta, Dr. Veronica G. vgmartin at uiwtx.edu
Tue Jul 25 10:07:31 EDT 2017


I have forwarded your email to Dr. Steven Zottoli who organized a Grass Workshop one year ago that brought together a group of neuroscientists from across the nation to discuss possible funding for outreach programs to the community.  I have asked him if anyone attending that workshop was from the Chicago area.  I am from Texas so a bit of a stretch but you can do some meaningful experiments that are cheaper using earthworm and hydra.  There may be some drosophila and c.elegans projects but these would require, most likely, some husbandry and more animal care.  Here is a link to some earthworm materials from my academic grandfather, who has passed away but his website is kept up for exactly this purpose:


Some of these projects are not neuro based but may provide more activities for other purposes.

I'll let you know what Dr. Zottoli suggests but the Grass Workshop funding was specifically for a researcher to apply for funding for an outreach project using the Backyard Brains materials.  If you haven't seen Backyard Brains, they are also affordable options but it would help if you had someone in the neuroscience community that could perhaps help support the costs.


Also, for having your students talk to scientists.  I'm sure you will have quite a few to choose from in Chicago but just in case there is another resource called Skype a scientist:


Skype a Scientist<http://www.skypeascientist.com/>
Do you ever wonder what it’s like being a scientist?

and Taste of Science.org which has a group in the Chicago area that could also serve as a resource:




Chicago — taste of science<https://tasteofscience.org/chicago/>
taste of science is an annual festival where the best science researchers share their work with you in your favorite spaces

Backyard Brains<https://backyardbrains.com/>
Welcome to Backyard Brains. The brain is complex, but extremely fascinating. We need more people interested in studying the brain because 20% of the world will have a ...

INVERTEBRATE BIOLOGY, Lumbriculus variegatus, Neurobiology ...<http://www.eeob.iastate.edu/faculty/DrewesC/htdocs/>
Discovering and Investigating Paleozoic (Devonian) Microfossils [NEW Hands-on inquiry with microfossils; includes methods for collecting, isolating & handling.

Dr. Veronica G. Martinez Acosta

Chair, Neuroscience Section, Texas Academy of Science
Treasurer-Elect, Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience
Associate Professor

Biology Dept., School of Math Science and Engineering
University of the Incarnate Word
Biology Dept., CPO 311
4301 Broadway
San Antonio, TX 78209
(210) 829-3149 (office)

Summer Contact Information:
Biological Discovery in Woods Hole REU co-director
7 MBL St
Woods Hole, MA 02543

From: FUN_Mail <fun_mail-bounces at lists.funfaculty.org> on behalf of Herzog, Erik <herzog at wustl.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 8:47 AM
To: FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org
Cc: kleonard6 at cps.edu
Subject: [FUN_Mail] FW: Supporting High School Neuroscience Research

Dear FUN,

This note from an outstanding high school teacher in the Chicago area asks for suggested experiments on invertebrates that can be used for hypothesis-driven neuroscience with high school students.  Do you have suggested experiments (e.g. On flies or worms) or resources for him?  In addition, he seeks neuroscientists in the Chicago area interested in meeting his students.

Best wishes,
Erik Herzog
Co-Director, Washington University Neuroscience Graduate Program
Director, ENDURE: St. Louis Neuroscience Pipeline
Erik Herzog               ph: 314.935.8635
Dept. of Biology       Lab: 314.935.5214
Box 1137                    Fax: 314.935.4432
Washington Univ.    herzog at wustl.edu
St. Louis, MO 63130  pages.wustl.edu/herzog<https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fpages.wustl.edu%2Fherzog&data=02%7C01%7Cvgmartin%40uiwtx.edu%7C760ba022ba874edda6e908d4d3641ec8%7C0625d309c5bc41209828ea3d7071af19%7C1%7C0%7C636365874359633002&sdata=L%2BbGzr5TvN%2FhDNWgE45U5%2FE3JBV0AvxJtIUFI2OZ6Q8%3D&reserved=0>

Office: Monsanto 205
Lab: Monsanto 204

From: Kyle Leonard <kleonard6 at cps.edu<mailto:kleonard6 at cps.edu>>
Date: Monday, July 24, 2017 at 7:53 PM
To: Erik Herzog <herzog at wustl.edu<mailto:herzog at wustl.edu>>
Subject: Supporting High School Neuroscience Research

To whom this may concern,

My name is Kyle Leonard, and I am a high school biology teacher at George Washington High School in Chicago, Il. I am reaching out to create long-term connections with professionals who both conduct and support neuroscience research at the high school level.

A bit of context: I teach higher level biology to high school seniors who are enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program at my school. Per the program requirements, each student must conduct a thorough laboratory investigation of their choice to pass my course and receive college credit (score depending). Last year I incorporated basic neurobiology and behavior concepts into my curriculum, and naturally students wanted to complete their lab conducting a neuroscience investigation (which are limited to invertebrate and non-invasive human experiments). Unfortunately, I do not possess the proper materials for students to collect meaningful quantitative data through a neuroscience lens, which means I had to turn down their proposals.

Partnering with a neuroscience advocating professional/organization could bring these possibilities into my classroom and allow my students to explore the wonders of the brain through true inquiry. More importantly, this exposure could be the defining factor that pushes my students into pursuing a STEM career, which underprivileged students from the south side of Chicago seldom experience.

If you are interested in connecting with my students please do not hesitate to call or send an email, my contact information is below. Thank you for your time, I look forward to discussing any inquiries at your convenience.


Kyle Leonard

Biology Teacher, George Washington High School
Kleonard6 at cps.edu<mailto:Kleonard6 at cps.edu>
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