Southern Maine Community College and Bates College Collaborate

Photo credit: Daniel Moore, SMCC

A teaching and research collaboration among Bates College and Southern Maine Community College faculty and students was designed to provide technical training to SMCC faculty and students. In August, progressive workshops culminated in a hands-on and hypothesis-driven workshop, both lecture and lab, hosted by Bates College. The program is in its third year of collaboration.

The course was recently highlighted by SMCC.

In the first two days of the course, which was led by SMCC Professors Daniel Moore and Brian Tarbox along with Bates Professors Larissa Williams and Travis Gould, lecture was used to introduce students to basic concepts of microscopy and zebrafish development as well as how to read a scientific paper and carry out an oral presentation. The latter half of the week was spent in the lab and on the confocal microscope carrying out six research projects. One lunch period was also spent on journal club, learning about and dissecting a paper that was the basis of the research projects. At the end of the course, each student presented their project to the group.

SMCC biotechnology and marine biology majors gained knowledge and experience in developmental biology and confocal microscopy, specifically: using controls in experiments, interpreting results, gaining confidence in interacting with professors and research scientists. The program has increased students’ interest in biomedical and life science research and future education in this area.

“These courses have taught me both how to ask scientific questions and how to answer those questions using cutting-edge technology,” a student said. “The networking opportunities and one-on-one conversations with professors are invaluable. These courses get me excited to pursue a degree and a career in science.”