28 June 2010

Students Participate in DNA Summer Camps

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Student James C. Gamble '13 examines a sample.

The DNA Science Summer Camp and Fun with DNA Summer Camp, part of Trinity’s new charter membership with the Harlem DNA Lab, a satellite of the Dolan DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor, took place during 14-18 June 2010. Fourteen students attended the Upper School camp, and five students attended the Middle School camp.

The Dolan DNA Learning Center is the world’s first science center devoted entirely to genetics education. It is an operating unit of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an important center for molecular genetics research. With biologists now able to dissect the approximately 30,000 genes found on human chromosomes, we are able to gain a more rich understanding of how life develops. With the rise of more sophisticated technology, we can bring this understanding to students. Since the inception of DNA camps in 1985, 11,000 students have participated in the summer programs, guided by experienced instructors, using up-to-date laboratory and computer equipment to perform experiments.

The DNA Science Camp for Upper School students was designed specifically for students with little or no research experience in molecular genetics. Participants performed nine experiments based on the safe, convenient E.coli genetic system. The five-day workshop introduced the basic techniques needed to construct and analyze recombinant DNA molecules including DNA restriction litigation, bacterial transformation, and plasmid isolation. In addition, each student received a signed DNA Science textbook, written by David Micklos, Executive Director of the Dolan DNA Learning Center.

The Fun with DNA Summer Camp for Middle School students was designed for students interested in expanding their knowledge of basic genetics and cell biology. Students were immersed in an environment of hands on activities and laboratory experiments designed to increase genetic literacy, encourage critical and creative thinking, and spark interest in the field of biotechnology. The week concluded with Parent Participation Day, when students became teachers and explained the week’s activities to visiting parents.

[The above information was adapted from text on the DNA Learning Center Web site -
www.dnalc.org]
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