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Bryan ISD Education Foundation Grant Keeps Hammond-Oliver on the ‘Cutting Edge’

CSI-type lab experiments are alive and well in Hammond-Oliver Health Science classrooms thanks to a grant from the Bryan ISD Education Foundation.

Ulonda Rogers, a Hammond-Oliver medical microbiology instructor, used Foundation grant funds to purchase DNA gel electrophoresis equipment for her classroom. Bryan ISD Hammond-Oliver students conducted a recent experiment using the new items to DNA analysis on a five-layer bean dip.

Rogers said university health science professors expressed a desire for students to arrive in their classroom with knowledge about how to use health science equipment. However, Rogers said that can be challenging because of the price of industry-standard equipment.

“There are always things that can be helpful,” Rogers said. “Especially in health science since our equipment can be expensive. Anything we can get that will help the kids learn, that’s great.”

Students said they gravitate towards lessons and experiments that are similar to the type conducted in real-world labs. Gavin Case, Bryan High senior, said the DNA equipment the Foundation provided is the same equipment he’s likely to use in a future career.

“Lessons like this will definitely help because I’m going into the medical field and I’m going to have to do more research into stuff like this,“ Case said. “I’m going to have to take classes where I’m working with these types of tools, so it’s really great to have these hands-on tools that I can learn how to use now.” 

Case’s lab partner Joel Coppernoll, Bryan High senior, said he'd likely enter college with advantages over students from school districts that don’t have health science programs like Hammond-Oliver.

“I think it will give us a leg up on the competition and give us an edge that not everybody has,” Coppernoll said. “Aside from the gel electrophoresis that we did today, we’ve done a lot of other lab stuff that will definitely aid us in college.” 

Rogers is thankful to those who donated to the Bryan ISD Education Foundation, allowing her students to succeed at the high school level and beyond.

“Thank you for helping us to buy this equipment,” Rogers said. “You’re helping my kids experience the cutting edge of biomedical technology.”

About the Bryan ISD Education Foundation

Formed in 1999, The Bryan ISD Education Foundation was founded to foster continuous improvement of the Bryan ISD by providing financial support and other resources for District-wide programs aimed at improving student academic achievement. There is a strong correlation between the sense of community, the quality of life in Bryan and the quality of education in Bryan schools. This philosophy is important to the children in our educational system but equally as important for the future economic growth of the community.

Children First. Always.