CURE Launches Connecticut's BioConnection Program at Edgewood Magnet School in New Haven Expands Popular BioBus Program



-Delivers the BioBus Curriculum Without the Bus-



    NEW HAVEN, Conn., March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Students at Edgewood Magnet
 School in New Haven will conduct advanced bioscience experiments in their own
 classroom this week, launching Connecticut's BioConnection Program, a new
 educational outreach program from Connecticut United for Research Excellence,
 Inc. (CURE).
     The BioConnection Program is a laboratory equipment loan program designed
 to leverage the curriculum from CURE's highly successful educational outreach
 program, Connecticut's BioBus.  The BioConnection Program is free of charge to
 schools and is structured to enrich the scientific curriculum at middle and
 high schools with advanced investigational exercises using research tools and
 techniques beyond the scope of most classrooms.
     "Edgewood Magnet School uses a Higher Order Thinking (HOT) initiative,
 where our goal is to teach our students using active inquiry and arts
 integration to support the district curriculum," said Keith Kaliszewski,
 Edgewood Magnet School's science teacher for grades 7 and 8. "Having the
 BioConnection classroom unit for two weeks delivers real world science
 exploration and allows me the flexibility to incorporate the experiments and
 instructional content over several class periods with all my students.  With
 the BioConnection Program I can link the DNA and genetics topics we are
 studying with today's biotechnology research, a field that can provide
 rewarding employment opportunities for my students."
     Edgewood Magnet School will use the BioConnection classroom unit for two
 weeks, during which Mr. Kaliszewski expects to introduce two of the
 BioConnection experiment lessons to as many as 150 students.  Once completed,
 the BioConnection unit will be replenished by CURE and loaned to another
 school.  During this pilot year through December 2004, the BioConnection
 Program will be introduced to at least six schools within the five urban
 school districts in Connecticut: Bridgeport, Hartford, New Britain, New Haven
 and Waterbury.
     At the conclusion of the pilot year CURE will seek contributions from its
 members to support the BioConnection Program on an ongoing basis.  The pilot
 period is funded by an earmark grant under the Fund for the Improvement of
 Education (FIE) from the United States Department of Education.  Congresswoman
 Rosa DeLauro of New Haven assisted CURE in obtaining this grant.
     "The BioConnection Program is an excellent way for students to get
 hands-on experience with their science curriculum," said DeLauro.  "Science
 education is critically important to helping American students compete in the
 growing global marketplace.  The BioConnection program will be integrated with
 the classroom for two weeks, allowing students time to delve into the work.  I
 am proud to have been able to help CURE obtain funding for this
 forward-thinking program."
     Teachers at eligible BioConnection schools are trained in the
 experiment-based lesson of their choice, adapted from Connecticut's BioBus
 Program.  The three experiment lessons introduce advanced biology and
 biochemistry concepts and techniques and are the three most popular
 experiments on board the BioBus.  These experiments have been conducted by
 students over 14,000 times since the launch of the BioBus:  The Art of Forgery
 experiment challenges students to identify a forged painting using gel
 electrophoresis, a technique to separate molecules based on size and charge;
 The Mystery of the Crooked Cell experiment explores genetic testing of disease
 by identifying blood samples with sickle cell anemia; and The Case of the
 Crown Jewels experiment uses DNA fingerprinting to solve a fictitious crime.
     "Connecticut's BioBus Program has been tremendously successful in
 delivering advanced bioscience instruction to schools across the state," said
 Paul R. Pescatello, President and CEO of CURE.  "Over 17,000 students have
 conducted a BioBus experiment lesson and learned about careers in bioscience
 since the launch of the program in September 2001.  However, there are
 thousands more Connecticut students who have not had the opportunity, and the
 BioConnection Program delivers the expanded learning experience to more
 students at more schools, independent from the BioBus."
     Connecticut's BioBus and BioConnection Programs seek to foster the
 excitement of scientific discovery among students and ignite interest in
 pursuing scientific careers.  Connecticut's BioBus represents a
 five-year, $3.6 million partnership between 27 members of Connecticut United
 for Research Excellence, Inc. (CURE) and Connecticut Innovations
 (www.ctinnovations.com), one of the state's leading investors in high
 technology.  Connecticut's BioConnection Program is a pilot laboratory
 equipment loan program delivering real-world research techniques, advanced
 investigational exercises and bioscience career information to middle and high
 school science classrooms across Connecticut.
 
     CURE (www.curenet.org) is a statewide coalition of over 100 educational
 and research institutions, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and
 other supporting businesses.  It is dedicated to promoting the growth and
 increasing public understanding of biomedical research and science in
 Connecticut.
 
 

SOURCE CURE

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