Jenison International Academy Partners with GRCC to offer Biology Labs

This past February the Jenison International Academy [JIA] had the opportunity to visit Grand Rapids Community College and integrate online learning with some hands-on experience.
The Jenison International Academy currently serves eight counties in the West Michigan area providing full-time online education for students in grades 6-12 and is in its fourth year of operation. JIA continues to expand its programming, acting as a curriculum provider for local districts in West Michigan.
Kristin Graham, JIA Principal shared the details of their February 7th lab and the students experience at GRCC:  In an effort to provide hands on opportunities for students who participate in virtual courses, JIA has partnered with the Biology faculty at Grand Rapids Community College to provide lab opportunities for our students.  Ninth grade Biology students met on the campus of GRCC to complete a DNA fingerprinting lab. Biology faculty and current GRCC students hosted the lab in order to teach students the basics of restriction enzymes and how they are used to cut DNA samples in order to determine DNA sequences. This process, called DNA Fingerprinting is often used in the judicial system.  Students were provided with a simulation in which they performed a gel electrophoresis to see which of the suspects was most likely to have committed the crime based on DNA evidence collected at the crime scene.

Following the completion of the crime simulation, students were challenged to isolate a DNA strand from their own saliva. A buffer solution was used to extract a visible mass of DNA cells and students used toothpicks to pull a thin strand of DNA from their test tubes.

In the future, JIA students will visit GRCC science labs once per semester in our Biology courses to complete activities relating to their online coursework.
Another exciting milestone for the Jenison International Academy is their new home!  The first week in April, the JIA officially transitioned into their new facility at 7506 Church Ct., the building formerly used as the temporary offices for the Administrative offices during the construction of the Jenison Center for the Arts building. The new facility houses our administrative and instructional staff offices as well as a teaching lab/conference room and learning lounge for students to utilize throughout the day.
New home of the JIA!

New home of the JIA!

The Jenison International Academy is an unique and important element of the fabric of Jenison Public Schools and we’re proud to watch it grow and continue to impact our community and beyond!

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