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May 30, 2003

Biotech is the focus of class for high school teachers

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – High school teachers wanting to learn more about biotechnology can participate in a course offered by Purdue University's School of Agriculture.

Introduction to Agricultural Biotechnology (HORT 590G), developed by the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, will run from June 9 to July 28. The course is designed to help high school educators understand how transgenic organisms are created. Instructors who take the class may then teach these same lessons in the classroom.

"The idea is to give teachers enough background of the science in biotechnology to enable them to educate others," said Kathryn Orvis, course coordinator.

The main topics to be covered include an introduction to biotechnology, herbicide-tolerant transgenic crops, insect-resistant transgenic crops, environmental and food safety of transgenic crops, and ethical and cultural issues in biotechnology.

"Weekly discussions, lessons, tests and activities are part of the lesson plan and are designed so students can work at their own pace," Orvis said.

The lessons will be Web-based, and the three-credit course can be applied toward the six-hour requirement for teacher license renewal.

Those interested can register up until the day of class by contacting Camilla Lawson at cmlawson@purdue.edu, (765) 494-3571 or (765) 496-7454. She can also be contacted toll-free at (800) 359-2968.

The cost for current Purdue students is $478.50 and $585.75 for new students wanting graduate credits. Teachers may take the course and not receive graduate credits for $80.

For more information, contact Orvis at (765) 494-8439, orvis@purdue.edu. Course information also is available online at http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/teachers.

Writer: Michelle Betz, (765) 494-8402, agnews-stories@purdue.edu

Source: Kathryn Orvis, (765) 494-8439, orvis@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu; http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/

Related Web site:
School of Agriculture course for teachers


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