Teachers are the Students at Georgia Tech
Since its inception in 1991, The Georgia Intern-Fellowship for Teachers (GIFT) program at Georgia Tech has placed STEM teachers in more than 1,400 summer research positions in industry and academia statewide. Georgia Tech also pairs GIFT teachers with undergraduate students interested in becoming teachers.
NAI’s team at Georgia Tech has developed an astrobiology education program to provide two high school biology GIFT teachers and one undergraduate biology student with a summer research experience, investigating extremophiles. They also developed an astrobiology curriculum for a one-week summer enrichment program for 23 high school students. The enrichment program, “Life on the Edge: Astrobiology,” focused on life in extreme environments. The diverse group of high school students explored the adaptation and survival of various types of extremophiles when exposed to UV radiation and desiccation. They participated in hands-on activities, and learned molecular biology techniques such as genomic DNA purification, gel electrophoresis, and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).