Essays on Science and SocietyIBI* Series Winner

Adapting to Osmotic Stress and the Process of Science

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Science  30 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6076, pp. 1590-1591
DOI: 10.1126/science.1215582

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Inquiry-based approaches to science education improve critical thinking and engagement of students in coursework along with immersing them in the nature of science (1, 2). Involving undergraduates in authentic research is a variation on inquiry-based classes in line with recent education recommendations (3, 4). Adapting a project from the Csonka laboratory (5), we developed the “Genetic Analysis of Adaptation to Osmotic Stress in Salmonella” module in the framework of the Center for Authentic Science Practice in Education (6), which enhances students' scientific understanding and communication skills while introducing them to basic laboratory skills, primary literature, and experimental design. This class has been offered to a total of 32 first-year undergraduate students in 2 years, with 21 additional students currently enrolled this spring.