Campus hosts VCE Biology lab classes

Campus hosts VCE Biology lab classes

25 Jun 2009

During June and July, over two hundred secondary college students from twelve local and regional Victorian schools will undertake Unit 4 Biology school assessed coursework (SAC) requirements with hands-on laboratory activities at La Trobe University’s campus in Wodonga. 

vinegar flyDeveloped and delivered by staff from the Department of Environmental Management and Ecology, the series of classes focuses on genetics.

In one SAC, students investigate the inheritance of various characteristics of the vinegar fly, Drosophila melanogaster. During the first three hour activity, students anaesthetise and microscopically examine flies from several breeding populations to enable them to hypothesise about the types of inheritance, based on their count of the proportion of different characteristics found in each population. 

The second activity allows them to manipulate DNA to examine the basis of the Drosophila mutations they studied previously. In this SAC, they learn to use the techniques of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and gel electrophoresis. These techniques are employed in many forensic science and conservation investigations.

“The Department of Environmental Management and Ecology is pleased to be able to provide VCE Biology students with this valuable opportunity to put their textbook learning into practice with state-of-the-art skills and equipment not generally available in secondary schools,” stated Dr Susan Lawler, Senior Lecturer.

This innovative program began three years ago with one local school. This year, twelve schools are involved, including new participants Corryong Secondary College, Mooroopna Secondary College and Cathedral College in Wangaratta.

The experience also provided students with a timely insight into the Albury-Wodonga campus science courses and research as they prepare to make applications for tertiary places for 2010.  

Further details on the University’s involvement can be obtained from Dr Susan Lawler, Department of Environmental Management and Ecology, on (02) 6024 9874.

To arrange an interview or for further information, please contact:
Name Reinhard Beissbarth
Company  La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga
Phone 02 6024 9874







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