March 19, 2021: Authentic Science Research (ASR) Director Christine Girtain certainly proposes the most interesting projects, and her latest venture again caught the attention of-- and earned support from-- Sustainable Jersey for Schools.
Four years after winning a Sustainable Jersey for Schools $10,000 grant to implement her Wolbachia Project, Girtain earned a $10k-level grant for her proposal titled, “Investigating Food Crop Sustainability With Corn Genotype to Phenotype Teacher Workshop.” Needless to say, it was the only submission of its kind. But both its uniqueness and its science- and environmentally-driven tenets wowed the grant review panel.
This grant cycle was funded by Sustainable Jersey for Schools through the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) and-- like he did for the Wolbachia proposal-- Toms River Education Association (TREA) President Scott Campbell endorsed Girtain’s application on behalf of High School South. With the funding, the longtime TRRS educator-- who directs the ASR program at both High School South and High School North-- will implement teacher workshops on the sustainable science; train herself on in-house DNA and RNA extraction through the innovative MinION technology; and introduce students to these new avenues of scientific inquiry. In fact, student Christina Mardini is currently piloting the Corn Genome to Phenome project at HSN.
“I want to inspire a network of New Jersey-area educators to connect students to modern STEM, agriculture, tech, and researching careers,” Girtain said.
In fact, maybe it’s easier if we let Girtain herself explain the rest, courtesy of a required post-award video submitted to Sustainable Jersey for Schools: