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D.C. Biology Class Campaigns For AIDS Awareness

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Biology teacher Alexadra Fuentes conducts her class on evolution at the Cesar Chaves Charter High School in southwest DC.
Elliott Francis
Biology teacher Alexadra Fuentes conducts her class on evolution at the Cesar Chaves Charter High School in southwest DC.

A group D.C. high school students who are learning about evolution are looking at the issue in a non-traditional way, by conducting an AIDS awareness campaign as a part of their biology class.

The course unit was developed by science teacher and Knowles Science Teaching Fellow, Alexandra Fuentes. Students learn how the virus adapts and evolves, making it hard to treat. Fuentes says that's when the class decided they wanted to teach others.

"If the problem is that HIV spreads because people don't talk, then let's teach people, and ask them to teach people," says Fuentes.

Eventually they'll fan out across the city in small groups telling people what they learned. Luis Sanchez is working on what he'll say.

"It's a good experience for me," says Sanchez. "It's like learning new things, things I didn't know before."   

Later this month, the students will look at data to study the campaign's reach in the city.

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