Summer Science Camp

Are you interested in Medical Research or Forensic Science?

If so, join us! Girls entering the 7th, 8th and 9th grades are invited to attend a one week summer science program under the direction of Janell Johnson, Ph.D. While on campus you will dive into the world of experimental science. The program will focus on the study of DNA, RNA, and proteins. These are the molecules that control the function of all living cells and make each of us different from one another.

Your days at Bay View will be filled with hands-on laboratory activities which will allow you to study the molecules of life using a variety of experimental techniques commonly used by research scientists and forensic scientists across the globe. Your laboratory experience will include the opportunity to isolate and visualize DNA, amplify a gene (a segment of DNA) using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and clone a gene into a bacterial chromosome. These are the steps used by research scientists to produce human insulin for those who suffer from diabetes.

You will also be introduced to crime scene DNA analysis as you and your fellow campers solve a murder mystery! The list below includes a variety of additional techniques you will be exposed to throughout the week. Discussion based instruction will help students gain a deep understanding of the scientific reasoning and application of each experimental technique performed.

The program will run from the 10th – 14th of July, from 9 - 3 PM daily. The cost for the week is $450.

Space is limited so apply early.


Janell Johnson, Ph.D.

After growing up in North Dakota and earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Ph.D. in Anatomy and Cell Biology from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, Dr. Johnson and her family hopped in a car and drove east to Rhode Island. She accepted a post-doctoral research position at Brown University, but after four years there decided that she needed to change gears and began applying to teach at Catholic schools in the area.

Dr. Johnson was contacted by Principal Colleen Gribbin in the spring of 2007 and has been sharing her passion for the “magic in science” with Bay View students ever since. Her Summer Science Camp has been running with great reviews since summer 2013.

Camp Schedule

Day 1

Meet & greet with campers and mentors

Pre-lab Instruction, Videos and Learning Activities:
-Introduction to Cell Structure and Function
-Introduction to DNA

LAB 1:
Question: How do you work with a molecule so small?
Answer: Micropipetting!

LAB 2:
Isolation of Human DNA

Day 2

Pre-lab Instruction, Videos and Learning Activities:
-Introduction to DNA Analysis Tools
-Restriction Enzyme Digest
-Agarose Gel Electrophoresis
-Crime Scene Analysis

Students explore the fictitious crime scene and collect evidence
-----Students collect a DNA evidence card from each of the five locations and record the data on their worksheets
-----Students return to the lab and receive a DNA fingerprint (gel picture) of the DNA evidence collected at the crime
-----Students pose as suspects and read an assigned statement aloud
-----Students record information presented to them in each statement on their student worksheet
-----Students walk around and ask questions of each suspect

LAB 3:
Analysis of Crime Scene DNA using DNA Fingerprinting

LAB 4:
Agarose Gel Electrophoresis

Day 3

Pre-lab Instruction, Videos and Learning Activities:
-Review, discuss and analyze "DNA Detective" activity from Day 2
-Introduction to Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
-Introduction to Cloning a Gene
--Isolate and purify the gene of interest: Use PCR to amplify a short piece of DNA (ampicilliin resistance gene)
--Ligation: Attach the "foreign" amplified gene into a piece of bacterial DNA to make "Recombinant DNA"
--Transformation: Place the "Recombinant DNA" into a bacterial cell to make the bacteria resistant to the ampicillin antibiotic molecule

LAB 5:
PCR of ampicillin resistance gene

LAB 6:
Agarose Gel Electrophoresis

Day 4

Pre-lab Instruction, Videos and Learning Activities:
-Review & Discuss
--PCR amplification of ampicillin resistance gene
--RE digest of PCR product and bacterial vector
--Process of Ligation
--Process of transformation
--Discuss the PCR results via questions and comments by instructor and students

LAB 7:
Restriction Enzyme digest of the PCR amplified ampicillin resistance gene

LAB 8:
DNA Ligation

LAB 9:

Day 5

Post-lab Instruction, Videos and Learning Activities:
-Review and discuss:
--PCR amplification of ampicillin resistance gene
--RE digest of PCR product and bacterial vector
--Process of Ligation
--Process of transformation
--Analysis of Transformation Results (BLUE/WHITE SELECTION)

LAB 10:
Autoclave all of the reagents used in the transformation experiment

Students design their own camp T-shirt and the day finishes with a movie, "Jurrasic Park," and snacks!

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