Monday, August 16, 2010
Department Hosts Science Outreach Event for Middle School Students
On July 22 and 23, thirty-four students and mentors from the Mount Ararat Baptist Church Community Activity Center (MACAC) visited the Mellon Institute for an outreach event hosted by the Department of Biological Sciences. During the event, the group solved a mock murder mystery by evaluating DNA samples extracted from different fruits and vegetables using water, dish detergent and salt. Standard molecular biology techniques were utilized to digest the different DNA samples with restriction enzymes and analyze the digested samples on agarose gels. In the process, students learned how to safely use different laboratory equipment and reagents.
Dr. Carrie Doonan designed the event, while numerous undergraduate researchers led the instruction.
MACAC‘s mentoring groups work with middle school students to augment their academic and social skills, thereby helping them achieve their goals.