workshop will present an opportunity for students to perform original
biological research while learning techniques in molecular and cellular
biology, and to present their research to the larger community at the
completion of their project. It is being offered free of charge to all
accepted students. Participants will be paired up in groups of two throughout
the duration of the project.
Who should apply?
series is open to any high school student who has achieved an 85% overall
grade in their science and math courses combined, and who has successfully
completed their life sciences course. A total of 10-12 spots are available, so
space is limited.
1. To provide an opportunity
by which students can apply disciplinary knowledge and discover their own
potential as problem solvers
2. To enable the student to experience the
gratification, frustration, uncertainty, enlightenment and empowerment that
comes in the process of doing research.
3. To help students to develop the
analytical skills by which a problem may be solved and the communication skills
by which the researcher may present his research to the public. An effective
researcher in biology must be able to report research to the public in a direct
and simple manner.
4. Gain an understanding for experimental design;
develop an understanding of the basic techniques for analyzing nucleic acids;
apply certain techniques used for DNA isolation, manipulation, and cloning in
the laboratory; realize how the tools of molecular biology can be utilized to
address current research problems.
Student Commitment: If accepted
into the program students will be asked to sign an informal contract stating
that they intend to participate for the full course. Since they will be
working in groups of two they will have a lab partner that is dependent on
their presence and involvement.
Method of Evaluation:
the workshop, students will be asked to complete a self-evaluation in order to
gauge how they are progressing, and whether they are gaining benefit from this
series. They will be asked to evaluate the following aspects:
and a deep understanding of the research problem and the goals of the project.
2. The ability to apply logic and critical reasoning in evaluating
arguments, interpreting data and drawing conclusions.
understanding of the limitations of the research and its use in making broader
4. A clear understanding of experimental design and the
evaluation of dependent and independent variables.
5. A clear
understanding of the research methods and the ability to make effective use of
6. The quality of both oral and written presentations (contained in
their notebook) of the study.
7. Responsibility for equipment, supplies,
The workshop will be held
on Saturday (dates below) from 9am-1pm. The first six meetings will consist of
training in the methods and problem solving techniques the student will need
to complete and independently designed project, to be carried out during the
second part of the series.
During the winter break students will be
asked to design a series of experiments to elucidate the function of an
unknown gene in yeast. Student groups will be given a strain of yeast lacking
this gene, and asked to tentatively identify its function using the assays
they have learned in the first part of the program. Prior to this break
students will learn how to utilize certain bioinformatics tools to help with
the design of the project.
Texts: There is no designated text for this
course. You will, however, need to bring a laboratory coat to each meeting, as
well as a bound notebook in which to record your techniques and data, as well
as continual self-evaluations on their progress.
- Introduction to the workshop series
- Lab safety
- Aseptic technique
- Handwashing exercise
- Microscopic analysis
of yeast with trypan blue
- Disc diffusion assay of survival
- Serial dilutions for survival analysis
for survival analysis with ultraviolet light
- Gene knockouts in yeast using PCR
- Yeast transformations with p53
- DNA repair assays with nickel
- Catalase and fermentation assays using nickel chloride
- Agarose gel electrophoresis of PCR products
- Gene assignments
- How to pick a treatment using SGD
1/18 Independent group work
Independent group work
2/1 Independent group work
Independent group work
2/15 Independent group work
*Subject to change upon school closing due to inclement
(Makeup days: 2/22 and 3/1)
Instructor: Dr. Bernadette
Student mentors: Daniel Alacar and Bestina Nunez
College Prusmack Rm. 308, Natural Science Department
information please contact: Dr. Bernadette Connors firstname.lastname@example.org