INSPIRE Outreach promotes science education to middle- and high-school students. The outreach initiative consists of 3 science laboratory sessions where students learn about key concepts and tools in the biomedical sciences.
In the first lab session, students learn about the structure and function of DNA by extracting and purifying their own DNA.
During the second lab session, students are introduced to the concept of genetic transformation, a tool in biotechnology that allows scientists to introduce DNA into an organism to change the organism’s traits. In this lab, students will introduce a gene that encodes for a fluorescent protein into bacterial cells that will make them glow under UV light.
In order to apply the concepts from workshop #2, we have developed a third lab in which students make a transgenic glowing plant. Overall students will learn about the chemical nature of DNA, how it is manipulated and introduced into cells, and learn about potential applications of genetic engineering in multicellular organisms. INSPIRE outreach is currently funded by Duke BioCoRE and the Bayer Foundation and we expect to implement these labs in local Middle and High School classrooms in Fall of 2016.