With the funding of the BioScope initiative by the National Science Foundation, the Purdue University Cytometry Labortatories continues to provide an environment for secondary students to observe first hand, the links between state-of-art research and the basic tenets of biology as they are taught in high school.
We frequently bring in as many local school biology classes as possible into our laboratory for a 1-2 hour participatory tour. These tours require students to participate in the research process by asking questions, suggesting strategies for solving problems and observing research taking place. This inquiry process is very important for students to successfully bridge the gap between the university and high school environments.
We have created several linked stations around the laboratory and we have the students spend 15-20 minutes at each station in small groups. Each station is educationally-linked to the next so that students can appreciate the relationships that cause scientists to come to conclusions based upon their accumulation of knowledge, their shared experiences, their observation of the literature and their experimental results.