Media Advisory: WFU biologists teach genetics with tomatoes in Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools

Who and What: Wake Forest biologists use heirloom tomatoes to teach local middle and high school students in Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools (WSFCS) about genetics.

Biology Professors Gloria Muday and Carole Browne and graduate student Stacey Lundy are leading a team of students from “BIO101: Biology and the Human Condition,” to teach students how genetics lead to the diversity and variety in heirloom tomatoes, such as fruit size, shape, color and taste.

Pairs of the Wake Forest students will guide small groups of the middle and high school students through a problem-based learning exercise using mutant tomatoes and an array of beautiful heirloom tomatoes. The seventh and ninth grade students will solve a mystery of why the fruits of a particular tomato never turn red, exploring environmental and genetic causes, learning about plant reproduction and pollination, parts of the plants and genetics, including advanced techniques in DNA separation and identification in high school classes.

Muday and Browne estimate they will visit the classrooms of more than 1,000 students in the WSFCS District this semester.

When and Where:

Thursday, Sept. 13 – Northwest Middle School (8:15-10:30) and West Forsyth High School (1:00-3:30)

Monday, Sept. 17 – Reagan High School (1:00-3:30)

Tuesday, Sept. 18 – Jefferson Middle (8:30-10:30)

Thursday, Sept. 20 – Jefferson Middle (8:30-10:30) and Parkland High School (1:00-3:30)

Why: This is the second year of a project funded by the American Society of Plant Biology Education Foundation, which brings college students into the community to teach basic concepts about science.

About Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at

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