Explorations

See more information about “Cost and Reservation Details” on our Scheduling an Exploration page.

High School Explorations

DNA Science for High SchoolersDNA Restriction Enzyme Analysis and Bacterial TransformationPolymerase Chain ReactionProtein ProfilerChewing on Change High SchoolHands on Human Evolution High SchoolDiagnosing DiabetesDisease DetectivesStem CellsThe Pompe PredicamentCustom High School Exploration

 

Middle School Explorations

DNA Science for Middle SchoolersChewing on Change Middle SchoolHands on Human Evolution Middle School – Custom Middle School Exploration

 

Tours

 

 

High School Explorations


DNA Science for High Schoolers

3 hours
$350
Grades 8-12

Includes:

For the advanced gel electrophoresis portion there are several different labs available depending on your interests (all of these labs utilize the E-gel system):

Crime Scene Investigation

We will discuss original fingerprinting methods and the technique commonly used today and made popular by “CSI” and similar shows. The students will have the opportunity to perform gel electrophoresis using DNA samples simulating a crime scene. Students will analyze their results and compare banding patterns to determine the guilty party. This activity is also available as a “Harry Potter” storyline.

Modes of Inheritance

Students receive a 24-member family tree and DNA samples presumably taken from each family member. They determine the genotype of each of the relatives by cutting the DNA samples with a restriction enzyme and separating the fragments by gel electrophoresis. Please note there is an additional $50 cost associated with this lab.

Outbreak!

Students become virus hunters as they interpret DNA fingerprints to identify the viral strain responsible for a potentially deadly fictitious disease outbreak (uses harmless predigested DNA).

DSCI01Big.jpg DSCI02Big.jpg DSCI03Big.jpg


DNA Restriction Enzyme Analysis and Bacterial Transformation (AP Biology Investigations 8 & 9)

6 hours
$350 DNA Restriction Enzyme Analysis
$300 Bacterial Transformation
AP Biology or Advanced students, Grades 10-12

Includes:

This exploration is designed in-line with the AP Biology Investigations 8 & 9. The restriction digestion or bacterial transformation can also be scheduled separately. Restriction enzymes are used by bacteria to cut DNA at specific nucleotide sequences. In the laboratory, these enzymes are often used as molecular scissors for genetic engineering. In this lab, students use three restriction enzymes (EcoRI, HindIII, and PstI) to cut DNA. Students then use agarose gel electrophoresis to separate the DNA fragments by size and analyze the DNA pattern on the gel. Bacteria can be genetically modified by transformation, a process whereby cells take up foreign DNA. In this laboratory, students induce bacteria to take up DNA-containing genes that give the bacteria two new characteristics: resistance to the antibiotic ampicillin and the ability to fluoresce green. Back in their classroom, students will verify the presence of these traits and determine their transformation efficiency.

This Exploration is available to advanced students in upper grades. Each laboratory includes 8 work stations with a maximum of 32 students. The DNA restriction enzyme and bacterial transformation laboratories can be completed on the same day. This exploration uses the E-Gel system. Students have the opportunity to visit the Reitz Union and UF Bookstore/Welcome Center for lunch.

Enz01Big.jpg Enz02Big.jpg


Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

6-7 hours
Part 1 = 2 hours
Part 2 = 3.5 hours or overnight for thermal cycler to run
Part 3 = 1 hour
$400
Advanced students, Grades 10-12

Includes:

  • Pipetting by Design
  • PCR (there are several options available, please see below)
  • Advanced Gel Electrophoresis

Human DNA Fingerprinting:

Students use real–world forensic techniques to extract DNA from their hair follicles or cheek cells, and then use PCR amplification and electrophoresis to fingerprint their own DNA at a specific genetic locus (chromosome 16). Using their own results, students can also test the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium theory within their classroom population, then go online to compare their classroom results to genetic data of populations worldwide.

GMO Investigation

Current regulations in the US do not require that genetically modified foods be labeled as such. Using common grocery store items, students test samples of their favorite foods for the presence of modified genes.

Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus

Students perform PCR on wild-type and genetically modified peanut seeds, looking for the transgenic insertion that indicates infection by the virus.

Crime Scene Investigator PCR

Using PCR, students will amplify short tandem repeats in DNA samples and determine which suspect matches the DNA found at the crime scene.

Custom

Contact us to develop a custom PCR lab to identify a gene of interest within an organism of your choice.

DNA01Big.jpg DNA02Big.jpg


Protein Profiler

6 hours
$400
Grades 9-12 (Recommended for advanced students)

Comparative Protein Profiler includes:

  • Protein extraction from fish samples (can use other organisms if desired)
  • Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE)
  • Gel Staining/Destaining

Students employ protein electrophoresis, the most widely used technique in life science research, to study protein structure and function. Students generate protein profiles from the muscles of both distantly and closely related species of fish and, from their results, compare the different species’ profiles, construct cladograms (phylogenetic trees), and assign each organism a branch.


Chewing on Change: Exploring the Evolution of Horses in Response to Climate Change

3 hours
$300
Grades 9-12

Includes:

  • Understanding of geological time through time scale activity
  • Investigation of horse evolution through  3D printed fossil tooth comparisons
  • Construction of horse phylogeny


Hands on Human Evolution: A Laboratory Based Approach

3 hours
$300
Grades 9-12

Includes:

  • Exploring different hominid skulls to better understand our closest living and extinct relatives
  • Laboratory stations that cover a variety of human evolution topics
  • Using multiple lines of evidence to draw large scale conclusions

During this exploration, students will be investigating various hominid species and draw conclusions from several laboratory stations. Through a series of rotations, groups will investigate major concepts in human evolution including brain size trends and bipedalism. Students will also compare chromosomes, amino acid sequences and base pair sequences of different primate species and draw phylogenies consistent with their findings.


Diagnosing Diabetes: Science Take-Out

2-3 hours
$300
Grades 9-12

Includes:

  • Simulation for diagnosing Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in a hypothetical patient
  • Learning how the body absorbs glucose and what happens to blood glucose levels when a patient has diabetes


Disease Detectives: Science Take-Out

2-3 hours
$300
Grades 9-12

Includes:

  • The investigation of a simulated case of myelitis
  • Determining whether the case is viral or bacterial
  • Investigating the importance of vaccinations


Stem Cells: Science Take-Out

2-3 hours
$300
Grades 9-12

Includes:

  • Learning about the cell cycle
  • Exploring different stem cell lines and how each line is created
  • Learning the importance of stem cells in scientific research and in curing disease


The Pompe Predicament (short and extended versions)

3-5 hours
$300-$350
Grades 9-12

May include:

  • DNA Structure to Function Science Take-Out Kit
  • GAA colorimetric assay

Pompe disease affords the rare opportunity for students to consider multiple biological concepts and assemble them into a story.  Instead of DNA taught separate from protein structure and function, these areas as well as enzymes, genetics and human disease are all taught together through the story of Pompe disease.


Custom High School Exploration

3-4 hours
$200-$300, prices may vary
Grades 9-12

Have an exploration in mind? We can arrange explorations in other areas of science, or point you to a knowledgeable contact. Just ask and we’ll see what we can do! Additional fees may apply to wet labs.

Past explorations have included:

Journey into Space – students learn more about astronomy with a visit to the StarLab, an inflatable planetarium

Energy – from solar energy to nuclear energy, discover some of the advantages and disadvantages to different energy sources

Brain Awareness – graduate and medical student led neuroscience exploration

UF Fisheries – learn more about aquatic science and the fisheries program, including work with sturgeon. Optional catch and release experience and aquatic macroinvertebrate investigation.

UF Bugs – Insects are fascinating and younger students in particular enjoy learning more about them. Complement the UF Bugs experience with a visit to the Florida Museum of Natural History and Butterfly Rainforest.

 

Middle School Explorations


DNA Science for Middle Schoolers

3 hours
$350
Grades 6-8

Includes:

Deoxyribonucleic acid is as much fun to say as it is to work with. To enhance their learning of the structure of DNA, students will construct candy DNA models that are a tasty treat for the ride back home! Students will also extract DNA from plant cells so they can visualize genetic material.

DNASci01Big.jpg DNASci02Big.jpg DNASci03Big.jpg

 


Chewing on Change: Exploring the Evolution of Horses in Response to Climate Change

3 hours
$300
Grades 6-8

Includes:

  • Understanding of geological time through time scale activity
  • Investigation of horse evolution through  3D printed fossil tooth comparisons
  • Construction of horse phylogeny


Hands on Human Evolution: A Laboratory Based Approach

3 hours
$300
Grades 6-8

Includes:

  • Exploring different hominid skulls to better understand our closest living and extinct relatives
  • Laboratory stations that cover a variety of human evolution topics
  • Using multiple lines of evidence to draw large scale conclusions

During this exploration, students will be investigating various hominid species and draw conclusions from several laboratory stations. Through a series of rotations, groups will investigate major concepts in human evolution including brain size trends and bipedalism. Students will also compare chromosomes, amino acid sequences and base pair sequences of different primate species and draw phylogenies consistent with their findings.


Custom Middle School Exploration

3-4 hours
$200-$300, prices may vary
Grades 6-8

Have an exploration in mind? We can arrange explorations in other areas of science, or point you to a knowledgeable contact. Just ask and we’ll see what we can do! Additional fees may apply to wet labs.

Past explorations have included:

Journey into Space – students learn more about astronomy with a visit to the StarLab, an inflatable planetarium

Energy – from solar energy to nuclear energy, discover some of the advantages and disadvantages to different energy sources

Brain Awareness – graduate and medical student led neuroscience exploration

UF Fisheries – learn more about aquatic science and the fisheries program, including work with sturgeon. Optional catch and release experience and aquatic macroinvertebrate investigation.

UF Bugs – Insects are fascinating and younger students in particular enjoy learning more about them. Complement the UF Bugs experience with a visit to the Florida Museum of Natural History and Butterfly Rainforest.

 

Campus and Department Tours


Up to 3 hours
$200

These tours can be selected in conjunction with other explorations. We will do our best to accommodate these tours, but their availabilities are not guaranteed.

  • Biodiversity
  • Engineering
  • Biomedical Science
  • Humanities
  • Animal Science