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Long Beach Students Experience Hands-on DNA camps

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As part of a new partnership with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory DNA Learning Center, Long Beach Public Schools was excited to offer two on-site camps this year. In the past, participants would have to attend the DNA Learning Center in Cold Spring Harbor to attend either of these one-week camps, but this year Long Beach Middle School hosted Fun with DNA for students entering sixth and seventh grades and Forensic Detectives was offered to students entering grades eighth and ninth.

Fun with DNA was an entry-level course in DNA science designed especially for highly motivated students interested in expanding their knowledge of basic genetics and cell biology. Campers constructed cell and DNA models, used compound microscopes to view various cell types, extracted DNA from their own cells and from plants and used stereo microscopes to observe mutations in fruit flies and firefly genes.

Forensic Detectives gave student campers an opportunity to experience a series of forensic labs and activities. Campers used techniques used by CSI experts to analyze a “crime scene” and collected evidence such as fibers, fingerprints, hair, and blood. Other activities allowed students to explore areas of forensic science including pathology, entomology, and forensic profiling. Additionally, they performed a real DNA analysis and interpreted the results.

Both camps concluded with a parent participation day where students presented a showcase and did a presentation of what they learned and created throughout the week.

Date Added: 8/18/2022