Pre-College Programs
STEM II for rising 9th & 10th grade students

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DNA Science and Biotechnology

This course is expected to run but has not yet been scheduled.

Course Description

Are you curious as to what it is like to be in a laboratory, working to solve problems in the medical field? Have you wondered how scientists work to provide breakthrough products and technologies to improve our environment? This course will immerse you in the laboratory as you learn the basics of biotechnology and gain experience conducting advanced laboratory techniques. As a researcher in the field of biotechnology scientists work to understand biomolecular and cellular processes and use that knowledge to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives, our society, and our planet.

This hands on, laboratory-based course is designed to expose students to basic laboratory research, along with topics and techniques currently used in biotechnology and medicine. Students will learn about DNA, RNA, and proteins and apply this knowledge to learning techniques used in the field of Molecular Biology.

Students will manipulate DNA and express the Green Fluorescent Protein gene (normally found in the Pacific jellyfish) in bacteria and extract and observe both DNA and proteins using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and electrophoresis. Other techniques of modern molecular biology will be explored, including the isolation of students’ own DNA and protein purification. Additionally students will examine and discuss techniques used to identify disease causing organisms, along with procedures used by pharmaceutical companies to produce therapeutic proteins and vaccines. Students will also learn about the emerging technologies used in synthetic biology.

This class will include many hands-on activities, including designing and developing experiments to test a hypothesis or address a real-world problem. Field trips to several research laboratories and biotechnology companies will enable students to see the techniques they have learned in action and meet world-class scientific researchers in the fields of Molecular Biology and Synthetic Biology.

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