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Research scientist visits the 7th-grade science lab to teach Gram staining method

The JHCA seventh-grade science class had a special visit last week from Mr. Zach Siler of Perfectus Biomed, LLC, a microbiological contract testing company with a lab in Jackson.
Mr. Siler, research scientist and procurement manager at Perfectus Biomed, led a hands-on Gram staining demonstration, which is a crucial method in distinguishing types of bacteria and named after Danish bacteriologist Hans Christian Gram, according to the NCBI - National Center for Biotechnology Information. After the demonstration, students prepared their own bacteria culture slides for viewing under a microscope with the close supervision and direction of Mr. Siler.

Hands-on activities are paramount to education at JH Classical Academy and provide students with real-world experience that makes their studies come to life. Mr. Samuel Lunz, seventh-grade science teacher and dean of students, said the students are in the middle of a unit on bacteria and the effectiveness of antibiotics in class, an area of study in which Perfectus Biomed does pre-clinical trials for.

“We have been talking about gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and are currently conducting a lab in class that tests four antibiotics against two types of bacteria. The goal of the gram stain presentation was for our students to actually get to do what we have been researching and talking about in class,” he said.

Last year, the seventh-grade class had the opportunity to visit the lab in person but, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr. Siler was kind enough to perform the demonstration at JHCA this year.
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