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Summer Scholars

Biotechnology & Public Health (Rising 9th-12th)

Students smiling around a lab table

Course Description

In this one-week course, students will explore the concepts of biotechnology. The camp will allow students the opportunity to look at how biotechnology couples biomolecular and cellular processes to develop products and technologies that help improve the health of our planet and, ultimately, our lives.

In this course, students will:

  • Use DNA evidence to solve a crime
  • Investigate whether DNA damage from cellular stress can be prevented with dietary antioxidants
  • Map plasmids
  • Investigate the need for clean drinking water
  • Learn about immunity, vaccine production, antibody tests, and antibiotic resistance
  • Separate and analyze dyes using chromatography and spectrophotometry
  • Transform bacteria and purify the bioluminescent protein



  • Wear long pants (or skirts), closed-toe shoes, and garments that lack full/flowing sleeves or fringe in class. NO SHORTS or baseball caps allowed in labs.

Course Leader: CULSOC Instructors

Course Schedule*


Tentative weekly course schedule
  • Solve a crime using DNA fingerprinting
  • Practice aseptic technique and perform bacterial transformation to make bacteria glow
  • Examine transformed bacteria, streak bacterial plates and inoculate liquid media
  • Isolate strawberry DNA
  • Separate dyes using column chromatography
  • Analyze dyes using spectrophotometer


  • Discuss vaccine development using electrophoresis and conduct an ELISA simulation
  • Design the best time release pill packet challenge
  • Investigate if DNA damage can be prevented with antioxidants
  • Prepare bacterial plates with antibiotics
  • Map plasmids
  • Clean drinking water and public health - design the best filter challenge
  • Use column chromatography to isolate the bioluminescent protein from transformed bacteria