The hybrid learning at Academe is exciting and going very well. The investment in technology and equipment proves to be successful. This especially became apparent during the current senior biochemistry class. The biochemistry block is the highest level of chemistry to begin with and is very challenging on all levels. The hybrid learning model lays another challenge on top of it, but it does not steer our students away from their course. Our professor, Dr. Tara Wyman is teaching from home and a number of students also learn from home. The seniors on campus are divided in cohorts in the bio lab and in the chem lab. During the recent experiment on proteins and their physical properties, students at school were paired with students at home to complete and document a portion of the experiment. The students face-timed each other to discuss the meaning of the tests before writing and sharing a summary of the results. Two faculty supervisors are with the cohorts and oversee the experiments while Dr. Wyman gives the directions.
The block provides a synthesis for everything they have learned so far in chemistry. It is a high level and challenging course that asks for independent research. The block focuses on the detailed analysis of the four major classes of biomolecules, proteins, lipid, DNA and carbohydrates. This knowledge allows seniors to examine biochemical processes on a personal level. Each senior presents a thoroughly researched project on the topic of their choice. Past research projects have included Stem Cell Research, DNA fingerprinting and PCR, AIDS, Avian Flu, Gene Therapy, etc. Upon completion of the course, students have a clear understanding of a myriad of current research topics in chemistry.