1 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (MEXICO)
2 Instituto Politécnico Nacional (MEXICO)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 195-198
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
Extracurricular activities are important to consolidate higher education [1, 2]. We have organized several of these activities in order to support and to improve the academic performance of students following the Biology, pharmacy and chemistry curriculum at our university (FES Zaragoza, UNAM). These activities are particularly oriented to facilitate, complement and extend learning of basic knowledge provided by compulsory courses forming part of the first biochemistry module.

Our extracurricular activities include several theoretical and practical courses focused on biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology. Cell culture and other techniques as those required to isolate, purify and quantify DNA and RNA and to perform PCR have been practiced by our students. Five courses on experimental biochemistry and molecular biology have enabled them to participate in a special program called Youngsters to research (Jovenes hacia la investigacion) designed to recruit interested, promising young students into current research projects under the supervision of established researchers in our university.

Outstanding national and international researchers have participated in our meetings, lecturing on apoptosis, diabetes, forensic genetics, microbiology and human metabolism. Our main goal in these meetings has been to show our students the link between teaching and research, and to give them an opportunity to listen to and to discuss with established researchers on their current investigations. Some of our more interested students have got an early start, joining a research team at our university, confirming the benefits provided by extra-curricular activities.

1. Vaatsra, R. & De Vries, R. The effect of the learning environment on competences and training for the workplace according to graduates. Higher Education 53: 335–357, 2007
2. Slack, M.K, Murphy, J.E. The factors associated with student membership in professional organizations. Am. J. Pharm. Educ. 59:125-130 (1995)

Supported by DGAPA PAPIME PE 204706.
extracurricular, teaching, biochemistry.