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Dartmouth Researchers Get a Microscopic View of Ticks

May 09, 2021   |   Valley News

A Valley News article about microscopic pictures of ticks quotes Dartmouth Engineering PhD candidate Sidhartha Jandhyala.

"The pictures are being used in lesson plans for Dartmouth Rural STEM Educator Partnership, which was created from a five-year, $1.3 million grant from the Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to bring science education programs to middle school science teachers and students in rural areas. The schools involved are Claremont Middle School, Indian River Middle School in Canaan, the Barnet (Vt.) Middle School and the Tunbridge Central School."

..."'The ticks were more specific because we’re catering to rural New England where ticks are an issue so we wanted to have the topic to be somewhat relevant to what students are aware of,' said Sidhartha Jandhyala, who is one of 10 graduate students involved in the Dartmouth Rural STEM Educator Partnership.

"Jandhyala, a fifth-year student pursuing a doctorate at Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering, created a short YouTube video to accompany the lesson.

"'I was actually really shocked when I saw those images. I didn't expect that many details, especially that harpoon mouth,' Jandhyala said. 'I was also very surprised at some of the differences between the males, females and the different stages of ticks.'

"In the video, Jandhyala explains the life stages of a tick before detailing how the images were taken and describing each one. The video concludes with a short quiz and encouraging kids to be aware of ticks, which can carry Lyme disease and other pathogens, when they are outside.

"'Hopefully these experiments will spark that curiosity in students and they'll go on to be the future scientists that we need,' Jandhyala said."

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