SETS: Grant-Winning B2B Teacher brings Students to UF

Published: January 20th, 2017

Category: News, Student Programs

Albert Einstein once said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

Luckily, 26 Stranahan High School students have the pleasure of being enrolled in a class where their zealous teacher encapsulates all the wonders of creative expression, knowledge and much more.

Stranahan High School’s Medical Magnet Program teacher Simone Barnes thrives to captivate her students in her Human Body Systems course where students dive into biotechnology and pathophysiology education.

In 2016, Barnes was one of 20 teachers selected to attend the 2-week Biomedical Explorations: Bench to Bedside (B2B) summer session where she engaged in biomedical lessons, trials and examinations in labs aimed to heighten the subject’s interest in the classroom. Upon attending the program, she was awarded access to biotechnology equipment lockers and professional assistance for classroom activities from the University of Florida’s Center for Precollegiate Education and Training.

“I did the summer program here with the educators and I wanted my students to experience the same care and the same level of rigor as we did over the summer, so I think it’s totally worth it, and I can’t wait until next year’s workshop,” Barnes said.

On January 11, 2017, Barnes traveled with her students to the University of Florida from Broward County for a Special Explorations for Teachers and Students three-day laboratory-based science program where students participated in gel electrophoresis, Polymerase Chain Reaction and bacterial transformation activities.

“Some of the topics that I cover in the human body systems course and also in biotechnology are covered here, in-depth, in a real life lab,” Barnes said.

Her hard work and devotion to making curricula both applicable and entertaining to students has also recently earned her a $2,000 Mini-Grant from Bench to Bedside.

Biomedical Explorations: Bench to Bedside Coordinator Dr. Houda Darwiche said since Mrs. Barnes won the Mini-Grant, she is free to purchase materials for her classroom, permanently, as opposed to having temporary access, such as the other B2B participants have.

“Simone’s proposal was in the top three of the twenty that were submitted, and her students are especially deserving” Darwiche said.

Barnes’ hands-on teaching allows her to create an exciting educational environment that surrounds current research concepts, which could potentially pique the interest of her students to aim at a possible career in the science field. She said her students felt accomplished after spending their time at UF, and they eagerly hope to return next year.

“This was one of the best field trips I’ve participated in my fourteen years of teaching,” Barnes said.

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