The AP Biology class took to the streets (of campus) to "get out the vote"... for subcellular structures! After learning about the structure and function of eukaryotic organelles in class, students partnered up and devised a political campaign for an organelle of their choosing to serve in an elected office. The goal, said AP Biology teacher Dr. Ryan Skophammer, was multi-faceted. "First and foremost, I wanted students to educate each other and the community about the functions of these subcellular structures," he said. "Also, this project helped them understand some of these organelles in a different way; that is, how crucial are all of these components to cellular function?"
The project itself had four requirements. Students selected an organelle (e.g. nucleus, cytoplasm, ribosome, mitochonrion, etc.), and created a campaign poster that contained both images of their organelle and information that supported their case about its function and importance. After the posters were placed all around campus, from classrooms to the walls of Frank Field, students had a decision to make: they could choose between creating a 30-second campaign ad for YouTube, a "organelle-run" Twitter or Instagram account, or preparing a rally or stump speech during a lunch period. Additionally, students researched their organelle by reading recently published scientific papers, and discussing them in their class forum. The "campaigning" culminated in judges from the Class of 2021 voting for a single winner among the 22 campaigns - the Ribosomes! "I promised the winners of the campaign would get to take custody of a golden selfie stick for a year," said Dr. Skophammer. "Congratulations to the Ribosomes!"
Which organelle would you vote for?