Enhancement of Critical Thinking in Biology Laboratories

Activity Overview

Students in the labratory

The goal of this project was to introduce students to new biological instructional methods and technology. We focused on two needs of our students: introduction to current technology and techniques and the development of students’ analytical skills. Current research reveals that engaging students in inquiry learning presents an effective method of achieving our goals within the laboratory setting.

Title III funding was used to purchase and install scientific equipment and train faculty and staff on the proper use and maintenance of the equipment while making necessary changes to the various courses. The funding assisted the following undergraduate and graduate courses: General Biology I/II, Botany, Genetics, Cell Biology, Undergraduate Research, Anatomy and Physiology, and Experimental Genetics.

Activity Outcomes

Funds were used to strengthen the following areas:


  • Introduction of Bright field, phase contrast, fluorescence,   and electron microscopy


  • Introduction of Basic electrophoresis techniques, western blotting, PCR, Gel doc system and automated DNA analysis Techniques
  • BIOPAC system included the ability to analyze Electromyography (EMG), Electroencephalography (EEG), Blood Pressure and Biofeedback

Faculty and Student Support

  • Use of A.D.A.M anatomy and physiology for faculty and student use inside and outside the classroom

Activity Impact

  • Increase in the number of students entering biology graduate programs
  • Increase in the number of students attending professional schools
  • Increased students’ understanding the practical use of biological theoretical concepts
  • Each year a minimum of 3 students presented research papers at professional meetings
  • Each year a minimum of 15 students participated in the PVAMU Research Symposium