After a long blog hiatus, I thought I would update with the culmination of the pedagogy component of this project (the research is still underway and with several current students planning to spend part of their summer getting some final data and writing the paper, so it should see publication before too long). Missing out on a chance to present, the primary investigator presented our work at the 55th Annual Drosophila Research Conference in beautiful (I assume) San Diego. Our project (weirdly) was viewed with amazement within the larger research community, the idea of letting high school students carry out their own research using research techniques, skills, and concepts typically only seen in the higher education and research community seemed to be unheard of. I hope if nothing else that this is just one example in a long line of many within the teaching community that shows that collaboration between teachers, schools, and research institutions is not only possible, but in fact it is capable of generating authentic research, and more importantly, student interest in biology.
As for a summary of the entire experience for those interested in trying something similar with their own students or to have as a reference, I hope to have something up soon as the year winds down, but for now feel free to comment, contact me, and/or read previous posts.