Late one evening in January 2006, the mobile lab pulled into the parking lot at 9704 Medical Center Drive. It was such an exciting evening!! Within a few days, we had all the lab supplies on it and began visiting students. The first school in the Washington Area was Patapsco Middle School in Howard County. In addition the other inaugural participating schools were Ron Brown Middle School, Hines Junior High School, and Eliot Junior High School in Washington, DC. Since then, we had the opportunity to bring the mobile lab to thousands of students in the past 5 years.
First Class on the DG! Mobile Lab, January 2006
- Today, the mobile lab began its journey across the US to San Diego. Let us know if you see it on the highway!
As you may have seen in September, we just broke ground on our new facility in San Diego. We began offering education programming in San Diego at our temporary facility in 2007 – we have worked with over 30 teachers. From these relationships, we look forward to bringing the same opportunities to San Diego students we have in the Washington Area.
Students on the DG! Mobile Lab
With the current economic environment, keeping this program rolling is challenging. Yet, it is needed more and more in the classroom. We need your help! To find out how you can help keep this science program rolling, visit our Giving Page.
The day started early Tuesday with first period. Thirty eager students arrived on the bus to determine the results of the amplification of the DNA they extracted the day before. The PCR ran overnight, copying part of a conserved gene in plants, RuBisCo, that can be used to identify the species of land plants.
Loading Gels at the Hill School
Using gel electrophoresis, we were able to load gels and run them quickly to see the results. Most students successfully had amplicons – this was a great since they had not ever done DNA extraction or electrophoresis. The samples have been brought back to Rockville for sequencing and will be available for the students to analyze in about two-weeks.
Loading Gels like a Professional at the Hill School
We had a great visit with the students and are curious to see what plants they brought from around campus.
We look forward to working with them again in the future!
To support our Education program visit http://www.jcvi.org/cms/giving/overview
DiscoverGenomics! Mobile Laboratory at the Hill School
The day started early with reagent and lab preparation before we even left for school OR had coffee. We expected to do over 100 DNA Extractions as the first step in the DNA Barcoding. We arrived on campus as the first period was starting –we didn’t have class until after 9:00.
Grinding samples at the Hill School
It was a full house (bus) most of the day and busy getting through the DNA extraction. Various specimens were brought in from around campus to determine their species. It will be interesting to see the diversity of plants on campus.
Moving through the protocol at The Hill SchoolThe Hill School
The Hill School
After a hiatus this summer, the Mobile Laboratory hit the road again today for a trip to Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Driving through the rolling hills of northern Maryland into southeastern Pennsylvania, it passed small towns and beautiful foliage. Tomorrow and Tuesday, we will be working with students from the Hill School.
The students will be exploring their campus by determining the species of plants they collect. This process is often called “DNA Barcoding.” DNA Barcoding is a standardized procedure using PCR, sequencing and bioinformatic analysis to determine the various species of plants, bacteria, etc. based on conserved genes.
Stay posted for more updates tomorrow!