Laboratory Field Trips

Boy working on science project.Laboratory Descriptions

  • One laboratory classroom will accommodate up to to 32 participants. 
  • For most laboratory field trips, two classes of up to 32 (64 total participants) can be accommodated and run concurrently.
  • One school chaperone is required to be present in each laboratory/classroom used by a school group.
  • Computer lab field trips are limited to 24 participants.

NOTE: Labs are scheduled to run between 9:30 a.m. and approximately 2:30 p.m. Times are flexible if arranged in advance.  Please detail your laboratory field trip preferences in the notes section of the online reservation form. Any changes or additions must be arranged in advance. Email or call to discuss summer programming hours and availability.


For School Groups

  • South Carolina Standards Aligned Labs for Grades 5-8

    5th grade: Mystery of the Dead Hemlock Tree

    In this lab students will:
    Use solutes and solvents to create mixtures and solutions
    Learn techniques to micropipette and measure small quantities of liquids
    Perform gel electrophoresis to compare DNA from known pests to an unknown tree killer (scientists use this method to separate out parts of a mixture)
    Discover the interdependent relationships of the hemlock ecosystem

    Standards and indicators covered in this lab:
    Standard 5.P.2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the physical properties of matter and mixtures
    5.P.2A.1
    5.P.2B.4
    5.P.2B.5
    5.P.2B.6

    Standard 5.L.4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of relationships among biotic and abiotic factors within terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
    5.L.4A.1
    5.L.4A.2
    5.L.4B.3
    5.L.4B.4


    6th grade: Analyzing Adaptations
     
    In this lab students will:
    Develop a classification system for diverse animals
    Learn how scientists classify animals
    Explore the Department of Biological Sciences’ Bob and Betsy Campbell Museum of Natural History (contains over 20,000 mammal, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish specimens)
    Use microscopes to compare and contrast structural adaptations in animal specimens
    Use sterile technique to plate bacterial cultures
    Observe bacterial adaptations to antibiotics

    Standards and indicators covered in this lab:
    Standard 6.L.4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of how scientists classify organisms and how the structures, processes, behaviors, and adaptations of animals allow them to survive
    6.L.4A.1
    6.L.4A.2
    6.L.4B.1
    6.L.4B.2
    7th grade: DNA Fingerprinting/Crime Scene
     
    In this lab students will:
    Take and analyze traditional fingerprint data from themselves and a crime scene
    Learn about the location and the role of DNA in our bodies
    Isolate their own DNA
    Perform gel electrophoresis to compare DNA from suspects to DNA found at the crime scene
    Learn about the human genome, genetic signatures and how they are used in forensics and other applications

    Standards and indicators covered in this lab:
    Standard 7.L.3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of how the levels of organization within organisms support the essential functions of life
    7.L.3A.1 
    7.L.3A.3 

    Standard 7.L.4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of how genetic information is transferred from parent to offspring and how environmental factors and the use of technologies influence the transfer of genetic information
    7.L.4A.1 
    7.L.4A.2

    Pre- and Post-Visit Information and Activities for DNA Fingerprinting/Crime Scene (MS)


    8th grade: Mutants and Microscopes

    In this lab students will:
    Create graphs displaying class data on various human traits
    Learn how mutations are used to find genes and determine gene function
    Use a microscope to observe and compare normal and mutant varieties of fruit flies
    Examine cases where genetic variations of traits enhance the probability of survival in a particular environment
    Use sterile technique to plate bacterial cultures
    Observe bacterial adaptations to antibiotics

    Standards and indicators covered in this lab:
    Standard 8.E.6: The student will demonstrate an understanding of Earth’s geologic history and its diversity of life over time
    8.E.6B.1
    8.E.6B.2

    *This field trip also includes a trip to Clemson University’s Digital Planetarium, where students will learn about galaxies, our solar system, meteors, and asteroids!
  • South Carolina Standards Aligned Labs for High School

    Biology: DNA Fingerprinting/Crime Scene

    In this lab students will:
    • Isolate their own DNA
    • Set up a restriction digest of DNA from a “crime scene”
    • Run DNA samples from crime scene and suspects on a gel and compare the results to ensure that the right guy/girl is caught. Upon advance request, AP students may use PCR analysis in place of restriction digests to analyze their DNA
    • Learn about the human genome, genetic signatures, and how they are used in forensics and other application

    * See below for standards and indicators covered in this lab.

    Pre- and Post-Visit Information and Activities for DNA Fingerprinting/Crime Scene

    * See below for standards and indicators covered in this lab. 


    Biology: Mapping Plasmids Using Restriction Enzymes

    In this lab students will:
    • Learn the origins and uses of restriction endonucleases (enzymes)
    • Set up restriction digests
    • Run digested DNA fragments on agarose gels
    • Analyze the data and use it to make and/or verify a plasmid map

    * See below for standards and indicators covered in this lab. 


    Biology: Your DNA and Traits  Extra fees (1.5 the normal rate) apply. This lab is available for AP classes only.

    In this lab students will:
    • Isolate their own DNA and analyze it for a polymorphism linked to the ability to taste bitterness using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), restriction enzyme digestion and gel electrophoresis
    • Take the taste test to determine if they are “tasters”
    • Learn how DNA polymorphisms cause healthy variations and/or predisposition to diseases
    • Discuss the human genome project 

    * See below for standards and indicators covered in this lab.


    Biology: Bacterial Transformation and GMOs

    In this lab students will:
    • Transform bacteria with a jellyfish gene and observe the bacteria glow in the dark, but only under certain conditions.
    • Learn how genes are turned on and off.
    • Learn about plasmids and how bacteria transfer genetic material.
    • Debate policies concerning the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in medical and agricultural applications.

    * See below for standards and indicators covered in this lab.

    Pre- and Post-Visit Information and Activities for Bacterial Transformation and GMOs


    * Standards and indicators covered in biology labs:

    Standard H.B.2: The student will demonstrate the understanding that the essential functions of life take place within cells or systems of cells
    H.B.2A.1
    H.B.2B.1

    Standard H.B.4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the specific mechanisms by which characteristics or traits are transferred from one generation to the next via genes
    H.B.4A.1
    H.B.4A.2
    H.B.4B.2


    AP Enduring Understandings covered in biology labs:

    3A: Heritable information provides for continuity of life
    Transcription, translation, gene regulation, and genetic engineering techniques to manipulate heritable information of DNA

    3B: Expression of genetic information involves cellular and molecular mechanisms
    Gene regulation and signals that mediate gene expression

    3C: Biological systems have multiple processes that increase genetic variation
    Bacterial transformation


    Chemistry:  The Dyes We Digest
    In this lab students will:

    • Learn to use a spectrophotometer
    • Learn to use micropipettes
    • Find the wavelength of maximum absorption for a specific dye
    • Make dilutions of varying concentrations
    • Calculate solution concentrations based on a standard solution and known volumes
    • Collect and analyze data; construct graphs
    • Use data to find an unknown value
    • Calculate the concentration of food dye in sports drink using Beer’s Law (AP, Honors)
    • Calculate percent error (AP, Honors)
    • Calculate the mass of dye in a sports drink (AP, Honors)

     


For Community Groups

  • Science On Tap

    A casual forum where people come to learn about and discuss recent discoveries in science and technology while having fun. An expert gives an informal talk for 20-30 minutes, followed by Q&A and discussion. Attendees can get up, eat or refresh their beverages at any time. Science on tap is FREE and open to all ages! No reservation required.

    WHEN
    Plan to join us at our next gathering. See schedule of speakers below.
    Clemson: On the 2nd Thursday of each month, 6:30-7:45pm
    Greenville: On the last Tuesday of each month, 6:30 -7:45 p.m. 

    WHERE
    Clemson: Viva Wine Bar, 168 Exchange St, Pendleton, SC 29670 (new location as of January 2018)
    Greenville: Coffee Underground, 1 East Coffee St., Greenville SC 29601

    A complete schedule of upcoming topics, dates and contact information may be found on the Science on Tap website.

  • Laboratory Field Trips

    All "school group” field trips are also available for community groups. Let us know the lab your group is interested in, and we can tailor the lab for your group’s age level and experience.

Reservation Procedures and Logistics 

  • Check Calendar for Availability - Fees - Submit Online Reservation Form - Pay Online

    To reserve a field trip, choose a laboratory, select an open date from our CALENDAR and submit a Reservation Request form. Contact Ginger Foulk at 864-656-4224 with any questions about reservations.

    After submitting a reservation request, you will receive an official confirmation email within a few days issuing a  payment deadline, a detailed Logistics Letter (contains all you need to know to finish planning your trip!) and a Parent Consent/Release of Liability form to copy for each student. Review the Life Sciences Outreach Center Safety Guidelines with your students in advance (includes dress code requirements!).

    Do not pay anything until you have received an official email confirmation of your reservation from Ginger Foulk.  Online payment with a credit card is the preferred method of payment and is due in full three weeks prior to the date of your laboratory field trip. 

    Fees are nonrefundable.  If a schedule conflict arises, laboratory field trip reservations may be rescheduled within the same academic session with 2 weeks advance notice.   The Center will reschedule with less notice if school is cancelled due to weather or a similar unforeseen circumstance.  If Clemson University is closed due to weather, the Life Sciences Outreach Center will not open and we will reschedule your laboratory field trip.  Contact Katherine Freeman on her cell, 864-553-0129, to confirm weather conditions/lab hours on the morning of your trip if you have any questions. 

    So that we may properly plan and prepare for your laboratory, ANY changes to the number of students confirmed in your original reservation should be submitted two weeks prior to your trip.

    Fees are as follows for one laboratory experience*:

    • One laboratory field trip (up to 16 participants) — $200
    • One laboratory field trip (17-32 participants) — $300
    • Two concurrent laboratory field trips (33-48 participants) — $500
    • Two concurrent laboratory field trips (49-64 participants) — $600

    *Your DNA and Traits lab involves many techniques and reagents resulting in additional fees of 1.5x the normal rate.

    Once you have received a reservation confirmation and a deposit payment deadline, return here to make a secure, online payment (orange button below). Do NOT pay unless your reservation has been confirmed and you have a payment due date.

    Pay Online Now

    Checks, though not preferred, will be accepted for a limited time if absolutely necessary. Make checks payable to Clemson University and mail to: Ginger Foulk, Life Sciences Outreach Center, Department of Biological Sciences, 132 Long Hall, Clemson, S.C. 29634-0314. Include with the check the name of the coordinating teacher, school and date of the reservation.

  • Directions and Maps

    All labs meet in the Life Sciences Outreach Center on the campus of Clemson University in Clemson, S.C. The Life Sciences Outreach Center is located in Jordan Hall, rooms G26-G28.

  • Parent Permission Form, Redfern Health Center Form, and Safety Guidelines (dress code!) 

    Please bring a signed Parental Consent/Release of Liability permission form for each student to Clemson on the day of your field trip, students without a signed form may not attend. Note that the form is front and back.

    If you want to have the option to have ill/injured students treated at the campus health center (Redfern) during your field trip, bring a completed Redfern Health Center form along with a copy of the private insurance card for each student.

    Safety Guidelines - review these before you arrive and make note of the dress code (long pants and closed toe shoes required to participate; long hair must be tied back)