Lending Lab Modules and Materials
The Pipetting 101 module is most appropriate for students in grades 5 through 12. This module introduces students to micropipettes. These precision instruments have become standard equipment in most biotechnology and medical laboratories, but they remain beyond the budget for many school science laboratories. Sections of this module are included in each of the other BSU CityLab modules, especially the Crucial Concentration module. The activities in Pipetting 101 also introduce students to the concept of an assay. Pre-lab activities are included and recommended for students who would benefit from review in metric measuring and math concepts.
This module was developed with assistance from the faculty and staff at Boston University School of Medicine's CityLab program.
The Crucial Concentration module is most appropriate for middle school classes. The students are “hired” by the Perfect Solution Company and challenged to investigate the protein content of sports drinks in the context of “truth in advertising.” This module introduces students to the use of micropipettes for measuring small volumes of liquid, and students perform colorimetric assays with spectrophotometers to determine the actual amount of protein in drinks from three different manufacturers. Math skills are involved in analyzing the data, including graphing and determining linear relationships between variables.
The Crucial Concentration module, including an introductory lesson on micropipettes, was designed by faculty and staff of BUSM CityLab. The BSU CityLab team has modified and adapted the original program.
Mystery of the Crooked Cell
This module is most appropriate for middle school classes where students explore the molecular basis of sickle cell anemia. Acting as medical technologists, they are asked to determine the cause for some symptoms in an imaginary patient. Students are introduced to micropipettes, and use protein gel electrophoresis as a diagnostic tool to differentiate sickle cell hemoglobin from normal hemoglobin. A language arts component is included as a form of assessment when students write a letter to the physician who “hired” them, describing their diagnosis and laboratory methods used. Pre-lab and post-lab activities included will help students explore the nature of this hereditary disease.
The Mystery of the Crooked Cell module was designed by the faculty and staff of Boston University School of Medicine's CityLab program. The activities have been modified by the BSU CityLab team.
The Lab Larceny module is most appropriate for high school biology classes. It is based on the Boston University School of Medicine's CityLab module “Case of the Crown Jewels.”
Lab Larceny is a forensic module where high school students are hired as employees of the Forensic Institute of Bridgewater (FIB). The students will be introduced to techniques in micropipetting, and perform DNA fingerprinting analysis on samples isolated from “blood” found onsite at FIB where industrial espionage has occurred. Students will also use techniques that are based on restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), and use agarose gel electrophoresis to resolve the DNA fingerprints. Careful analysis of the data and critical thinking skills are encouraged when solving this mystery.