Bishop Noll’s Biology Club recently participated in new experiences that increased their interest and excitement about science.
First, the students took a field trip to the University of Chicago Department of Human Genetics on April 11. While there, they visited six labs where they observed jellyfish and saw heart cells beating in a Petri dish. They also met with a University of Chicago student who studies the evolution and development of snail shells as a model organism and applies what they learn to human development.
Bishop Noll junior Nicole Michelin, of Chicago’s Hegewisch neighborhood, enjoyed the day.
“The field trip was intriguing and informative. The labs were fascinating and seeing some of their experiments be performed was amazing,” she said. She enjoys Biology Club’s fun-loving environment and plans to continue studying science with aspirations to become either a psychologist or genetics counselor.
A few weeks later, students from University of Chicago Department of Human Genetics visited Bishop Noll and served as guest speakers during Biology Club’s celebration of National DNA Day. The media center was filled with Noll students who learned from these mentors about their research, DNA, and how they decided to study science.
In addition to the guest speakers, club members spent the day sharing fun facts about DNA and selling cookies decorated with a DNA design.
The Bishop Noll Biology Club was developed by Noll science teacher Rebecca Dostatni ’00 to increase awareness and excitement about biology as well as scientific literacy.
“I noticed that most of the advanced Biology students I taught last year were particularly interested and passionate about science,” Dostatni said. “Biology Club is a way I can continue to guide students who want to study Biology in college even if they are no longer in my class.”
Biology Club meets once a week. A typical meeting includes prayer, science jokes and discussion of scientific research.
“I have also introduced the students to the scientific journal versions of those articles so that they can read the information directly from the scientists who did the research. We also extracted our own DNA from our saliva,” Dostatni said.