The LAB Experience program is an immersive science research experience developed specifically for middle and high school classes (up to 34 students). These full-day field trips take place in the RockEDU Science Outreach Laboratory at The Rockefeller University.
As active participants in the LAB Experience program, students will have the opportunity to:
- Engage with authentic science research practices in a real laboratory
- Interact with practicing scientists from diverse backgrounds, including discussions on education and career trajectories
- Articulate their perspectives around science in their communities, and the role of ethics as a governing principle
Ethics and Applications of DNA Technologies
Advised for high school students
In this LAB Experience, students will have the opportunity to extract, amplify, and visualize a fragment of DNA from their cheek cells. Students will perform Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) — a powerful and versatile technology with a wide range of applications. Complementary to laboratory work, students will discuss ethical considerations in collecting, reporting, and modifying human genetic information, and the potential impacts of DNA technology on society.
How A Jellyfish Changed Biology: Purification of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP)
Advised for high school students who have taken upper level science courses
Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) is a protein initially isolated from the jellyfish, Aequorea victoria, that fluoresces bright green when exposed to UV light. It has become a powerful research tool for visualizing proteins, organelles, cellular organization, and even whole organisms. Students will have the opportunity to perform protein purification from transformed bacterial cells using column chromatography, and to discuss related laboratory applications of GFP.
Exploring Photosynthesis Using Inquiry-Based Learning
Advised for middle school and early high school students
Using algae as a model system, students work in teams to design and conduct an experiment that tests the rate of photosynthesis. After testing a research question of their own design, student teams will then present their findings to their classmates. Students will also have the opportunity to use microscopes to further their exploration of algae and other microbes.
- “Our visit to Rockefeller University was an unforgettable experience. After the trip, every fellow classmate of mine spoke about how excited and happy they were about the trip. We all wish to do it again. It is very rare when teenagers find a class trip both educational and fun . . . After the trip, I saw scientist in a different light. I believed that science was all about studying boring books and studying boring things in a lab. Now I know it is much more interesting. While I interacted with scientist, I learned that science is all about curiosity and asking questions. Now everywhere I go, I have a small question in the back of my head.” – Student
- “As I walked into the school building today, I met two of the students who were in attendance on Friday. The first thing that they said to me was that the trip was awesome and they continued talking about it as we walked up the stairs I will have my students write out their reflections and forward them to you. I will also forward my own reflection. Thank you so much for your great organization, enthusiasm and dedication. As I stated to you on Friday, I have never encountered such an experience with my students in my teaching career!” – Teacher
- “My experience to Rockefeller University was unforgettable. I learned a lot from the different types of scientists and I didn’t know science could be so fun and interesting.” – Student