SFA shows off biology dept. to E. Texas students

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - More than 400 East Texas high school students walked the hallways of the Stephen F. Austin State University biology department.

They saw things they can't see with the naked eye.

They held things big enough to creep them out.

For 26 years, this is the way SFA's biology department has been introducing the various biological disciplines to regional school kids. The students are good in math, chemistry and physics. And they're goal oriented.

"I want to major in molecular biology," Dee Deaver said.

Molecular biology. Even the name sounds intimidating.

"I'm more intimidated by the camera," Deaver said.

A sharp wit combined with knowledge can lead to great discoveries.

"Especially with all interest in diseases that are impacting humans," Biology Chair Dr. Dale Gravatt said. "Diseases that are impacting crops. The solutions are found at the molecular level."

High school science teachers have their theories on how to prepare young scientists.

"Probably not give them choices," said Jan Gowin, a teacher from Jacksonville.

In other words, tell the student what to take in high school, rather than ask them. It keeps them on a track for success.

"I would encourage them to take more challenging courses, especially if they're college preparatory," Gowin said. "It will help them so much down the road."

Such as taking college-level biology tests, just like the one students took this morning.

"Felt like a first grader taking a college test," said B.J. Owen, a Kilgore student.

Everyone has to start somewhere. SFA is wanting the students' path to begin in these hallways where a discovery a day is always promised.

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