Weekend Institutes in Science Explorations

Gator - WISE

Weekend Institutes in Science Explorations

Welcome to GATOR-WISE – Weekend Institutes in Science Explorations at the University of Florida for high school science enthusiasts. A genuine passion for science is best cultivated through direct engagement.  GATOR-WISE offers a detailed exploration into the realms of genetics, medicine, environmental sciences, and more. 

Participants will conduct engaging wet labs, analyze data, and develop an understanding of scientific principles. Lab experiences will be augmented by informative talks from distinguished University of Florida guest speakers at the forefront of their fields! This unique opportunity not only allows for active learning but also facilitates interaction with professionals actively shaping the trajectory of scientific advancements. 


February 17, Infectious Disease and Immunology 

Learn all about the dynamics of infectious diseases, exploring topics such as the spread of pathogens, the immune response, emerging pathogens, epidemiology, and how we can control the spread of infectious diseases. Engage in hands-on, authentic lab experiments and learn more about infectious disease and emerging pathogens from UF experts. 

Suggested Grade Level: 10 - 12th grade students that have taken Biology, Biotechnology, Genetics, or Health Science classes.

March 23, Ecosystems and Biodiversity 

How does genetics pull the strings in our ecosystems?. Through hands-on lab experiences and discussion with UF experts, you’ll explore how genetics plays an important role in shaping the diverse array of life within ecosystems. Come prepared to not just understand the science; but also to appreciate the delicate balance of nature and recognize our role in preserving biodiversity. 

Suggested Grade Level:  9th - 12th grade students that have taken Environmental or Biology classes.

April 20, Human health and Toxicology 

This workshop will explore the nitty-gritty of human health and toxicology. We will provide an in-depth understanding of the effects of toxic substances on human health. Participants will engage in hands-on activities and laboratory experiments to explore the mechanisms of toxicity, risk assessment and the importance of environmental and occupational health. Students will gain insights into the ways toxicology informs public health decisions and policies through discussion with expert UF researchers!

Suggested Grade Level: 9th - 12th grade students that have taken Environmental, Life, or Health science classes.

May 11, Genetic disease 

Ever wondered how our genes shape who we are? We'll explore that journey from the inside out, from the nitty-gritty genotype details to how they show up in our everyday traits, or as we like to call it, the phenotype. Plus, we're diving into some cool hands-on activities, like decoding Variable Number Tandem Repeats (VNTR), to help you unravel the secrets behind genetic disorders. Let's make genetics personal and fun together in a day of discovery and learning at the University of Florida! 

Suggested Grade Level: 11th - 12th grade students that have taken Biology, Biotechnology, or Genetics classes.


To apply: Application form