Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mira Mesa High biotech students' "bright ideas" recognized

Jessie Garcia and Frank Pham helping
students to learn how to separate proteins.
Science kits designed and built by Mira Mesa High biotechnology students received the Bright Ideas Society award at the recent San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering.

After receiving the award from the San Diego City Council on March 19, students were on hand at the Festival on March 23 to show the 55,000 in attendance what they learned. The Bright Idea Society is sponsored by the Kimmich Educational Foundation at the San Diego Foundation. It recognizes three programs in San Diego county schools each year.

The students in the Mira Mesa High School biotechnology class were the recipients of the award not only for their own learning, but their effectiveness in passing on their learning to other science classrooms. In their biotechnology class the students learn both laboratory techniques and biological principals necessary for success in the biotechnology industry.

 Effects of Carbon Dioxide on ocean
ecosystems presented by Kristine
Lee and Manuel Lamug.
The students then apply their knowledge to manufacture four different interactive STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – science kits. The four kits are: ocean acidification, enzymes, bacterial transformation, and protein purification. Other high school students can benefit by using the hands-on STEM experiments. These STEM education kits are then distributed for free to more than 200 high school science classrooms throughout the year.

At the Petco Park event, Bright Ideas Society award winners from the Mira Mesa High biotechnology class presented their work to the approximately 55,000 children who attended the San Diego Festival of Science at Engineering at Petco Park. During the festival, the Biotechnology students had interactive STEM activities for children of all ages to learn about carbon dioxide effects on ocean mollusks, separation of specific proteins from a cell, changing DNA in bacteria to make them glow, and how enzymes work.

For more information about Biotechnology at Mira Mesa High School, contact Lisa Yoneda at 858-566-2262 or