March 4-7, 2014
Carnegie Science Center
For more info:
School Program Manager
Agriculture is a major industry in the United States, and plant patent infringement cases have become more common. In this workshop, we explore a scenario in which an farmer is accused of stealing patented strawberry plants from a neighboring corporate farm and selling them as his own. Students are given the task of determining whether or not this farmer is guilty.
DNA holds the key to whether these plants originated from the corporate farm. But how do we study the DNA to solve this mystery? We first must extract the DNA from the fruit! Students will perform a DNA extraction using common lab techniques that break down the cell membranes and separate the DNA away from the rest of the cellular material. The extracted DNA can then be used in further testing. We will discuss amplifying sections of the DNA through PCR and discuss visualizing similarities or differences among the samples through gel electrophoresis. Ultimately, they must decide whether the farmer is guilty or innocent based on the information encoded in the DNA.
Presented by the PITT Mobile Lab
Science and technology topics include:
Project-Based Learning, Critical Thinking, Chemistry, Biology, and Biotechnology
Capacity: 25Program Dates & Times
March 4, 2014 – 10 am, 11 am*, 12 noon*
March 5, 2014 – 10 am, 11 am*, 12 noon*
March 6, 2014 – 10 am, 11 am, 12 noon
March 7, 2014 – 10 am, 11 am*, 12 noon
* Program for this time has been filled.
Interactive DNA Timeline: click once you arrive at the timeline for images and links!
Finding the Structure of DNA: Putting It Together - Base Pair Interactive
A magazine of biotechnology applications: In health care, agriculture, the environment, and industry
DNA Interactive Modules including Lesson Builder
In the News
Zombie DNA: Not Really Dormant!
Medical Laboratory Specialist (interesting & in depth)
MS-PS1-2. Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
MS-LS1-4. Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.
MS-LS2-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
MS-LS3-2. Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation.
HS-PS3-4. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that the transfer of thermal energy when two components of different temperature are combined within a closed system results in a more uniform energy distribution among the components in the system (second law of thermodynamics).
HS-LS1-4. Use a model to illustrate the role of cellular division (mitosis) and differentiation in producing and maintaining complex organisms.
HS-LS2-5. Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
HS-LS2-8. Evaluate the evidence for the role of group behavior on individual and speciesâ€™ chances to survive and reproduce.