Biology Studies classes find empowerment through virus research

About 180 students are enrolled in Biology Studies at GBS. Throughout the course of their spring semester, they spent much time discussing biology storylines –– the act of starting with a large-scale phenomena, posing critical questions, and digging into the research. 

Then Coronavirus hit.

These Biology Studies students have been wrapping up their spring semester by digging into this global pandemic.

“It’s fascinating because the Coronavirus Storyline has students craving knowledge,” said Ms. Thomas, one of the science teachers (Navarro, Pavic, Davis and Thomas/Sisler) assigning this final project. “Students are finding a lot of ways to connect to the material based on their own lives and their own experiences. The level of engagement is very exciting.”

When E-Learning began in March, the teachers surveyed the students to see what they were most intrigued to learn about remotely, and the answer was, without a doubt, the Coronavirus. 

“They were eager to understand what was happening in our society,” Ms. Navarro said. “We taught them the importance of research and evaluating the sources from which they are receiving information.”

The format for this Coronavirus Storyline is: past, present and future. The students are studying viruses that have circulated in the past in order to understand what is happening now and how it might be prevented in the future.

Ms. Davis stressed the importance of research.

“People are being bombarded with information during these uncertain times, and it’s important for our students to realize this is not just an ‘adult’ conversation,” Davis said. “Our students are able to conduct their own research and understand this topic just as well as anyone else. My hope is that they can use their informed knowledge to help their friends, family and community.”

Sophia Mantas, a freshman, is in Ms. Pavic’s class. Mantas said she appreciates being able to work at her own pace for this project.

“I am able to research various aspects of the virus and the immune system that are most interesting to me,” Mantas said. “For example, I’m very interested in the vaccination aspect of the pandemic. I like being able to study real-life examples of what is going on in the world today, and how scientists are doing all they can to research and find a cure.”
Biology Studies classes find empowerment through virus research