Charleston Charter School for Math and Science 10th and 11th grade students teamed up with MUSC researchers Tilman Heise, Ph.D., and Gunhild Sommer, Ph.D., of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for an "outreach" field trip experience.
The field trip started with a lecture on biochemistry and cancer biology.
The Heise and Sommer laboratories focus on the role and function of ww-binding proteins in cancer pathobiology.
After the seminar students went to a laboratory for a "real life lab setting" and rotated through presentations on four different scientific stations demonstrating techniques used in molecular biology, e.g. mammalian cell culture, fluorescence microscopy, Western blot analysis and DNA agarose gel electrophoresis.
Teacher Katie McGormley, a certified health education specialist who works with Project Lead the Way (PLTW), said it was an eye-opener for students.
"The field trip became a great success for all participants especially when students started to ask scientific questions and were more and more engaged in the presentation. The organizers of the outreach event are very confident that they sparked the interest for science in some of the students." The experience will lead to future collaborations with Heise and Sommer teaming up with McGormley this fall to establish an internship for students to receive practical experience in conducting real research with the team.
Outreach team members who worked with the students were: Heise, Sommer and graduate students Julia Kuehnert and Alexander Brock and research specialist Avery Zierk.
PLTW is the leading provider of innovative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education curricular programs used in middle and high schools across the nation.