Wooly mammoth DNA

William Sofer sofer at mbcl.rutgers.edu
Thu Nov 28 11:34:47 EST 1996

For December, the Waksman Challenge group has acquired a small segment of
(fictitious) wooly mammoth DNA. Be sure to register is you want to analyze
it. The rules of the Challenge are given below. For further information,
our site at http://morgan.rutgers.edu


***********  THE WAKSMAN CHALLENGE!  **************

           Sponsored by Bell Atlantic

               Waksman Institute
  Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey

          challenge at mbcl.rutgers.edu
The Waksman Challenge is a monthly bioinformatics
research project that teams of high school students 
can pursue using the resources of the Internet.

How it works
The Challenge works this way: A group of faculty 
from the Waksman Institute of Rutgers ‹ The State 
University of New Jersey ‹ will devise a research 
problem at the beginning of each month during 
the academic year. The problem will be of moderate 
complexity, and its solution will require students 
to access molecular databases and similar resources 
on the Internet. 

Who should participate
Students will need to be familiar with the basic 
concepts of molecular biology and have access to 
the Internet. We anticipate that students in 
introductory biology classes that have covered 
the fundamentals of molecular biology as well as 
more advanced high school students will profit 
from participation in the Challenge.

Students from participating high schools 
working in groups (more than one group may be 
formed at a given school, and the size of any 
group may vary) will try to answer the question 
using the databases and software resources of 
the Internet, as well as other resources that 
they can bring to bear on the subject. Groups 
within a school and from different schools are 
encouraged to discuss the question with each other.

Teachers take note!
This is a student activity and teachers should 
encourage students and coach them, but _not_ carry 
out the project themselves. It is not even necessary 
for teachers to be very familiar with the Internet,
bioinformatics, or even molecular biology for their
students to pursue this activity. 

To submit a response to the challenge, a group must 
register by filling in the Waksman Challenge form 
located at our WWW site. Groups must register before 
the 15th of the month in which the Challenge is posted.
(Example: November 15 for the first challenge).
Each registered group must be sponsored by a teacher, 
but a teacher may sponsor more than one group at any 
given school. Groups must register for each monthly 
Challenge round.

The problem will be posted on the Waksman World Wide Web 
site (http://morgan. rutgers.edu)(The first question was 
posted on November 1, 1996 and questions will follow 
monthly on the first day of each month through May, 1997. 
There will be no challenge for the month of January).

When a registered group decides that they have worked out 
a  satisfactory answer to the challenge, they should submit 
their response by E-mail to challenge at mbcl.rutgers.edu. 
Please, do not send any responses by mail or phone. 
All responses must be received  by the last day of the month
in which the Challenge was posted, and all will be 
acknowledged. All participating groups will be 
awarded a certificate.

The student responses will be read by a committee of scientists 
from the Waksman Institute and Rutgers University. The student 
groups that are judged to have submitted the best answers on 
the basis of originality, accuracy, thoughtfulness, organization, 
and thoroughness will be awarded special recognition. In 
addition, the names of the members of the group that is 
judged to have submitted the best answer will be posted 
on our web site. Their answer will also be posted.

Guide to Bioinformatics Resources
The Waksman site mentioned above will also house the 
"Waksman Guide to WWW Bioinformatic Resources for High School 
Students". The Guide will provide useful hints for solving 
the problems posed in the Challenge.

If you have questions or comments or want further information, 
send E-mail to:

challenge at mbcl.rutgers.edu
sofer at mbcl.rutgers.edu

Bill Sofer                 ---------      sofer at mbcl.rutgers.edu
Waksman Institute          ---------      Rutgers University
Piscataway, NJ 08854-0759  ---------      FAX - 908-445-5375

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