(January 14, 2013) Last week, Academic Community Outreach welcomed 64 7th grade students from St. Edward the Confessor School to the iLab to learn about DNA and complete the Bubble Gum Mystery experiment.
Before beginning the experiment, students were given a background story to explain why they would be testing DNA samples:
Last week, your teacher sat down on a chewed piece of gum that had been placed on his desk chair. The gum ruined his pants. He wants to find out who put the gum on the chair. He suspects that the culprit is one of the class’ six gum chewers, so he called the iLab to ask if the staff could help him identify the offender.
After students learned about DNA and various real-world applications of genetics and DNA analysis, they moved to the laboratory to practice their pipetting technique. The iLab provided samples for each group of students to run through the process of gel electrophoresis, a common laboratory technique used across many different fields of study. Following a hotly contested trivia competition that included fun and weird facts related to genetics, the students were able to analyze their results in order to identify a culprit.
The iLab is a fully functional research laboratory set up for student use and instruction. For more information about Academic Community Outreach programs, visit our website, call the Academic Outreach office at 504-842-3237, or email us at EducationOutreach@ochsner.org.