“In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual” Galileo Galilei
The principle investigator at Olathe East High School is Michael Ralph. His area of focus is on culture and isolation techniques that remain accessible to secondary students. The lab began work in the summer of 2012, and has developed novel inoculation procedures, incubation chambers, and assay methods to classify the microbes present in enriched samples.
In addition to the core investigation of the lab, researchers are free to identify their own areas of inquiry. Projects that have been pursued in the past include:
- Lycophilization techniques for bacteria storage
- Micromanipulation techniques (needle fabrication and single-cell injection)
- Computer programming and modeling
- Raspberry pi control of lab circuits
- Lab computer construction
- 3D modeling, scanning and printing
- Mimulus genetic mapping for stomate density
- Rice culturing and simulated patty construction
Developing a line of inquiry is a skill many wait until graduate-level work to begin developing. At OE students begin learning to work within a research team in high school.