Pitt Mobile Science Lab
In collaboration with the staff of the Pitt Mobile Science Lab We are developing an educational module to teach high school students basic molecular biology techniques in the context of Hydractiniaallorecognition. Students will use PCR and gel electrophoresis to predict the genotypes of hydractinia colonies, and then test their predictions by observing those same colonies interact in real time. This module will be incorporated into the curriculum of the Mobile Science Lab, a self-contained laboratory that brings current, high-end equipment to area students so they can perform real-life laboratory investigations. The lab—a modified tractor-trailer—travels to school districts throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.
Research Experiences for High School Students
We provide research experiences for high school students attending the Pittsburgh Science & Technology Academy (SciTech), a magnet public school focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields and located directly on the University of Pittsburgh campus two blocks from our laboratory. Students have come to our laboratory to perform independent study projects or (starting in 2013-2014) as part of the SciTech Executive Experience program. The Executive Experience program is a required, year-long, field-based program for 12th grade students in which they design and implement a collaborative research project, complete with analysis, presentation, and final deliverables, to a real client (in this case, our lab). This project will be based on the creation of expression constructs for the expression of mutant alr proteins in transgenic Hydractinia.