STEM Pathways Hosts First High School Summer Training in Synthetic Biology

The demand came from the high school students following the February 11th Mini-Jamboree! They wanted to learn more about synthetic biology, connect its relevance to society, and be exposed to an active research lab so STEM Pathways made it happen!

STEM Pathways created a summer training session in synthetic biology at Boston University on Saturday June 24th!

Invitations were extended to the community! After completing an online application which included a letter of recommendation from a teacher, high school students were selected by lab trainers Marilene Pavan and Marisa Mendes to have the opportunity to learn fundamental synthetic biology tools and concepts in the one-day training session!

Trainers provided the high school students with a PowerPoint overview of synthetic biology theoretical training explaining molecular biology fundamentals, an introduction to synthetic biology, and the theory behind common wet lab protocols they would execute on lab day!

During the one-day session, students performed bacterial transformations, DNA purification, restriction enzyme digestions, and gel electrophoresis. They enjoyed drawing on agar plates with E. coli containing blue fluorescent protein and pipetting DNA into the gel wells the most.

Throughout the training, students were quizzed on what they were doing and why they were performing each task! This was confirmation that they learned and understood synthetic biology principles! Students also had the chance to talk to the lab trainers about college admissions, college life, being a researcher, and other exposure opportunities to synthetic biology and STEM in general.

"Awesome!" and a "Great program!" were a couple of the responses students wrote on their exit surveys! Based on the positive reviews and how much the students (and lab trainers) enjoyed the day, STEM Pathways is strongly considering hosting more training sessions in the fall. To be informed about the next training session for high school students, please submit your information here.