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Middle School Lab Intensive
In this fun, evidence-based and easy-to-understand middle school two-day life science lab intensive, participants are introduced to their microcosmos and biotechnology. Participants build a microscope to keep, isolate their own DNA, explore recombinant DNA, purify a fictitious engineered protein “antidote” used to treat human disease and solve a crime. Along the way bioethics, animal rights, clinical trials and disease prevention through lifestyle are discussed in an age-appropriate manner.
Framed with the Be An Action Hero!TM COMICs, participants learn of evil Dr. Drain, his henchmen and their plan to dominate the world. Students learn of Dr. Drain and his diabolical machine called the Drainer, that zaps kids DNA making them feel bored, tired and become sick. Fortunately the Drainer is only weakly powered and plants contain the antidote.
The rain forests still contains numerous undiscovered plants and animals, providing possible new cures (antidotes) for human disease. Our adventure begins as an American Scientist, Madison is hiking through the rain forest, looking for unique plant species, when she meets a native boy who tells her about an old medicine man with mysterious and “glowing” green leaves which have the power to protect against the Drainer and prevent human disease. The boy gives Madison a bottle with a few of these “glowing” leaves which she takes back to Island Life Sciences, a biotechnology company in Nashville, developing new compounds to treat human diseases.
Students, role-playing as scientists at Island Life Sciences, working in teams isolate the gene encoding this “glowing” protein that acts as an antidote. Once identified, each team purifies the protein and analyzes their results. The plot thickens when vials of the purified “glowing” protein are stolen from the laboratory requiring DNA analysis of the crime scene to identify the criminal(s) and recover the “glowing” protein antidote. The MS Lab Intensive I concludes with a poster presentation by each student reviewing their results. All with a smile!
2021 21st Avenue, South B103, Nashville, TN 37212