Paris Junior College wants to help teachers and their students successfully compete to deploy experiments into space by offering a Genes in Space workshop in February. Due to limited space in the workshop, early registration is encouraged.
Genes in Space is a free science competition where teachers and students design DNA research proposals for space. Winners have their experiments launched to the International Space Station and become involved in real-world space biology research. PJC’s workshop, sponsored by Boeing and miniPCR, will accommodate 24 science teachers from grades seven through 12.
Teachers will learn how to help their students participate in the competition by immersing them in real-world uses of biotechnology in agriculture, forensics, and medical sciences, and help them develop skills to implement hands-on biotechnology with their students. The workshop will also share how to obtain free loans of miniPCR “Lab in a Box” equipment and reagents. Participants will learn how to propose a Polymerase Chain Reaction experiment in space and utilize the International Space Station as a testbed for deep space exploration.
“For decades, the tools of biotechnology and DNA analysis have been difficult to implement in classrooms,” said Dr. Jack Brown, PJC Science Division Chair. “Our workshop will teach the use the miniPCR DNA Discovery System, an innovative biotechnology teaching toolkit that closes this gap. In this hands-on workshop we will develop skills to bring the cutting edge of biology and space exploration into the classroom.”
The Genes in Space team contest opens in January, and PJC’s workshop will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Feb. 2, 2018. As part of the workshop PJC will provide lunch, and limited funding is available to participants to cover the cost of a substitute on a first-come, first-serve basis.