Seneca Valley Teacher Thomas Lavelle (right) with a student conducting the laboratory investigation on March 21.

Freshmen in honors biology classes at the intermediate high school had an opportunity that few high-schoolers ever get to experience. They worked with a very rare and unique kit that allows for precise gene editing, The CRISPR/cas9 laboratory. “This is the type of laboratory investigation that generates student energy and enthusiasm,” said teacher Thomas Lavelle. “Students want to experience the real story of science. They want to partake in meaningful investigations, not exclusively relics from bygone generations. They want to experience the thrill, energy and wonder that comes when partaking in research at the cutting edge.” The advanced genetics lab kits were funded through the Seneca Valley Foundation, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to encouraging excellence and innovation through support for science, technology, engineering and mathematics events and scholarships.