Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Teaching Club Brings Lab to Local High School

On March 11th and 13th, The Sciences Teaching Club traveled to Ringgold High School in Monongahela, PA for their first off-site outreach program. Conducting labs with Lori Schalles’ 9th and 10th grade Accelerated Biology students, the CMU graduate students were able to offer invaluable experience in science to 96 students from 6 classes. 

“The goal of the lab was to teach the students about PCR and DNA electrophoresis - something they would have otherwise had to just learn conceptually,” said Amanda Soohoo, Ph.D. candidate and member of the Teaching Club. 

The two day lab involved crude DNA extraction and PCR set-up on the first day, then running DNA gels on day two. The high school students were even able to get pictures of the gels they examined, which the club sent back to the high school once they got the images from their labs at Mellon Institute.

“Now they’ll always have pictures of their own DNA,” Soohoo said.

The lab protocol was principally designed by Ming Zhang and Andrew Kehr, and the CMU graduate students who participated in the outreach program were:

Andrew Kehr
Katie LaGree
Shanna Bowersox
Karen Kormuth
Dan Shiwarski
Ming Zhang
Amanda Soohoo
Rachel Vistein
Zach Weinberg
Salini Konikkat
Dylan McCreary