DNA Science in Middle School – CampBio at Whitehead Institute

miniPCR is just back from an awesome (that doesn’t do it justice) day at the Whitehead’s CampBio. 17 middle school “DNA scientists” from 6th through 8th grades helped solve a “crisis in Food Safety” and track down the source of tainted patties. Our middle school scientists used molecular detection technologies (PCR, restriction analysis, and gel electrophoresis) to help control an outbreak of E.coli. Bringing PCR technology to classrooms couldn’t get more rewarding!

Favorite moment: there are many, but I think students loved projecting the PCR trace on the screen and counting the exponential amplification of DNA molecules PCR cycle by cycle. A 2-to-the-30th-power choir!

Kudos to our 17 fellow DNA scientists for their depth of inquiry and experimental success. Thanks to our partners in this experience Whitehead Institute, Science from Scientists, and New England Biolabs for reagents support.