LAB Experiences (ON HOLD)
Please Note: The LAB Experience program has been temporarily suspended until further notice due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The LAB Experience program is an immersive science research experience developed specifically for middle and high school classes (25-38 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
LAB Experience Curricula for Students
PCR: Ethics and Applications of DNA Technologies (max. 38 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. Technologies discussed will include GMOs and CRISPR/cas9 gene editing.
GFP: How A Jellyfish Changed Biology: Purification of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) (max: 30 students)
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, analyze proteins on SDS-PAGE gels, and to discuss related laboratory applications of GFP.
Algae: Exploring Photosynthesis Using Inquiry-Based Learning (max: 25 students)
Using algae as a model system, students work in teams to design and conduct an experiment that tests the rate of photosynthesis. Students will explore algae growth through developing unique research questions and hypotheses while defining their variables. After testing a research question of their own design, students will interpret and discuss their findings.