WASD Participates in Science Research Institute

Wyomissing Area Participates in Science Research Institute
Posted on 10/26/2021
Science Research InstituteThe Wyomissing Area School District prides itself on the ways our staff and students get involved in our community and our partnership with the Science Research Institute (SRI) at Albright College is continuing to create new opportunities for staff and students alike.

In recent years, Wyomissing Area teacher Dr. Brian Liskey has worked with the Science Research Institute providing him an opportunity to share his love of science with students by bringing science into the real world. With Dr. Liskey's guidance, Wyomissing Area students’ most recent involvement with SRI has been participating in research on the Susquehanna River to detect water quality issues.

Over the summer, the watershed research team worked with the EPA and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to study the impact of invasive species, specifically the snakehead, on the river's water quality. Invasive species like the snakehead are detrimental to native ecosystems because they have little to no natural predators and out-compete the native fish species.

While working with the watershed team, Dr. Liskey and his students used a technique called QPCR to see if the snakehead DNA was present in regions of the Susquehanna River. By detecting if the snakehead’s DNA was present, the team could assess where in the river the invasive species was located. Interesting enough, this is the same technology used to detect the COVID-19 virus. Dr. Liskey is excited to continue his involvement with the SRI program and hopes to give more Wyomissing Area students the ability to research the many fields of science through this partnership. 

In addition to the hands-on science exploration and research opportunities this program provides for students, Wyomissing Area is fortunate to offer a professional learning experience to a group of faculty members as part of this partnership, as well. This Total Experience Learning (TEL) offers dynamic learning opportunities for WASD educators to impact instructional practice and student engagement and we are thrilled to have participation from faculty members across the district.

Participants of this program will complete courses over the next twelve months which will culminate in a summer internship at the Science Research Institute at Albright College next summer. Additionally, our faculty participants will earn a certificate in Educational Innovation and Entrepreneurship. We are excited to grow our instructional practices in support of all students.