You know, amongst my more academically-inclined (read: nerdier) circle of friends, if I said, “Guess what? My friend just “decoded the DNA of…sage plants on campus and documented the plant’s genetic sequence for the gene involved in the breakdown of sugar, a particular gene that has never been researched”!” they would appropriately applaud the cool factor.
Even my “could-care-less-about-science” people would acknowledge the amazingness of being published “by an international scientific database”.
But let me amaze you a little more. It wasn’t my friend, per se, who did all this…. but rather, his high school students. My friend guided two of his junior-level science classes, and afterwards, two boys volunteered two weeks of their summer to analyze and submit the research for publication.
I guess this is the part where I can wax eloquent about the numerous possibilities of taking learning out of the classroom, about how the synergy between administration and teachers could accomplish much, about how important it is for teachers to have this sort of balanced background and zeal! But, I have a feeling you can connect the dots and get what you will out of this.
The above quotations came from this article where you can read more about Tyler Zarubin and his Sage Hill School students.
On a closing note, now I also can have my 30 seconds of fame. I gave his little science stapler a yummy April 1 present when we taught together in Taipei.