FHS students get hands-on experience with Bioengineering

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Friendswood High School’s Advanced Biology students recently had the opportunity to experiment with Bacterial Photography.

Bacterial Photography is performed using a genetically modified organism which has been engineered to see light and respond by changing color. When millions of these bacteria are spread over a surface, they will imitate any image students shine on them, capturing a bacterial photograph.

“It gave us a chance to discuss cutting-edge research going on at Rice University where they are using bacteria to tackle problems including gut inflammation and diseases associated with this inflammation,” said FHS AP teacher Nichole Erfurdt.

The Bactograph Kits are available free of charge to high school science classes to introduce them to Bioengineering. It was developed by two Rice University researchers, (one a graduate student and one an undergrad) in Jeffrey Tabor’s Bioengineering Lab.

“The kids were involved in the set-up process from start to finish,” said Erfurdt. “Unfortunately, our results were less than ideal, but I think the kids enjoyed it!”

Student-drawn images used to imitate a bacterial photograph.

AP Biology Teacher Nichole Erfurdt helps two AP Biology students with their Bactograph experiment in the science lab at FHS.