Gamboa, Mario - Science Teacher

Hello My Name Is...

Mr. Mario Gamboa

Subjects Taught
Biology, Biology Pre AP


Incarnate Word College    BA   Chemistry/Biology  1983

Texas A&M University        MS  Biology                 1997

Texas A&M University at Kingsville/San Antonio     Secondary Teaching Certification       2003


1997 - 2001  University of the Incarnate Word  Instructor of Microbiology, Biology and Anatomy and Physiology

1998 - 2001  St. Philip's College                     Instructor of Microbiology and Clinical Pathology Laboratory

1998 - 2001  Palo Alto College                       Instructor of Microbiology, Man and His Environment, Nutrition

2002 - 2003  Northwest Vista College              Instructor of Anatomy and Physiology

2000 - 2001  Memorial High School                IPC, Chemistry Teacher

2001 - 2003  Harlandale High School              IPC, Chemistry Teacher

2003 - now    Harlandale High School              Biology, Biology PreAP Teacher


I was born in Chicago, but have lived in Texas since 1972.

I graduated from Carrizo Spring High School in 1978.

I have lived in San Antonio since I moved here to attend college.

While at Incarnate Word College as an undergraduate I did research on the cardiac electrophysiology of rats in order to study the effects of dietary magnesium deficiency on the refractory period of the heart.  It required recording EKGs and measuring the various conduction intervals.  I even got to do some open heart surgery on some rats, so that I could stimulate the heart directly to narrow down the duration of the refractory period of the normal and magnesium-deficient heart.

While at Texas A&M University I briefly did research looking at homeotic genes in crickets.  I also did more extensive research looking at the molecular basis of the initiation of DNA replication in eukaryotic cells.  I have constructed genomic libraries in plasmids and phages (from slime mold DNA), and have performed one and two dimensional gel electrophoretic DNA analyses, including Southern blot and Northern blot analyses.  I developed proficiency with aseptic microbiological techniques.

Other experiences I have had:  I have observed autopsies, and surgeries.  I also dissected human cadavers.

I taught Microbiology laboratory and Diagnostic Bacteriology while a graduate student at Texas A&M University.

I continued to develop my teaching skills at the University of the Incarnate Word, Palo Alto College, St. Philip's College and Northwest Vista College, where I taught various courses, including Microbiology and Environmental Systems.

I read books on educational research and attend workshops to find the most current, effective teaching strategies available.

I believe in the power of positive energy in my classroom and in my life.

I believe that parental involvement in the education of students helps them to be more successful.

I believe my students want to succeed.

My wife does scientific research.  She has worked on developing an anthrax vaccine, a tularemia vaccine, and has worked in a level-3 lab wearing what looks like a space suit.  She also has done lots of molecular biological work with fungi and bacteria.  She is currently working with Mycoplasma species, studying gene regulation related to pathogenesis.  She has a twin sister, who is a chemistry teacher (Mrs. Dimmick) at McCollum High School.  Her sister's husband is Mr. Dimmick, a biology and anatomy teacher here at Harlandale High School.

Here is some useful information for success in my class:

First of all, Harlandale High School Rocks!


Class Goals:

I will learn the eight main biology topics, because:

1.  It may help me choose my career.

2.  It may help me invent a useful product.

3.  It may help me create a lucrative business.

4.  It may help me understand newsworthy issues better.

5.  It may help me solve a problem.

6.  It may help me pass the STAAR.

7.  It may help me earn my credit for biology.


Classroom Rules:

1.  Keep comments and actions positive.

2.  Relate topics to what you know.

3.  Respect your teacher and your classmates.

4.  Share aha moments!

5.  Be ready to participate.

6.  Expect the unexpected.

Do's and Don'ts for answering questions in class:


1.  Use the sentence stems provided to answer the question.

2.  Ask, "May I ask for help before I answer the question?"

3.  Ask, "Could you please rephrase the question?"

4.  Ask, "May I have a hint to help me answer the question?"

5.  Ask, "May I have an example to help me answer the question?"


1.  Don't shout out answers if a student is asked to answer the question.

2.  Don't make negative remarks about student answers.

3.  Don't say, "I don't know."


I am available for tutoring on Wednesday after school from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. and at other times by appointment.

Class Schedule  


1        PreAP Biology

2        PreAP Biology

3        Biology

4        Lunch

5        Conference

6        Biology

7        PreAP Biology

8        PLC



I am available for tutoring on Wednesday after school from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

I also am available at other times by appointment.

Safety Test on Friday, August 31st  

Please study for the safety test we have on Friday.  Copies of the safety rules are available in the File Manager section of this web page and a PowerPoint presentation is available in the Presentations section.  No excuses, please.

Important State and Federal Forms  

Please be aware that students will receive packets of forms that must be filled out  and returned by no later than Friday, August 31st.  Please keep the packet stapled together so that all forms get returned.

Supply List

Several three-prong folders and spiral notebooks or a binder and paper for this class only.

Black pens (no gel pens).


Other useful materials:

index cards, colored pencils, glue sticks.

Students must hold on to their own supplies.


Hypothesis Assignment (Mario Gamboa) 8/24/2012

More Hypothesis Practice (Mario Gamboa) 8/23/2012

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