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iLabs: Micro World “Multi-Class Series” Descriptions

August 30, 2013

Just to give a sampling of the class descriptions that will be going up on the website very soon, here are the descriptions of 3, multi-class series.  We are trying out “series” classes this year.  There will be a 2-Part Thursday night series, a 3-Part Tuesday morning series, and a 4-Part Tuesday morning series, along with a good number of single-session classes.

So to give you a glance at those series classes, here are those descriptions.  Prices and registration will be included when all materials are up on the website. (Being entered on the website as we speak!!!)


DRUG DEVELOPMENT SERIES: Where do new drugs come from, and how?

  • Date: Tuesdays, April 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2014
  • Time: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Requirement: Middle and High School; Take the entire series
  • Location: Micro World Investigate Lab
  • Instructors: Deb Bailey & Christy Flint

Bringing new drugs to market requires a lot of money, time and research. Why? And where DO drugs get their start? Classic drug development involved coming up with possible new drug candidates in the research lab. While this is still true, biomanufacturing, biopharmaceuticals, and bioprospecting contribute to a significant portion of current pharmaceutical research and development. In this 4-part series, students will participate in hands-on activities and discussions on biomanufacturing techniques (e.g. genetic engineering, extraction processes, and purification methods), clinical trial phases, and research ethics. The series will conclude with a panel discussion with industry professionals and researchers during which students can learn about possible career paths, industry educational and training requirements, and the future of jobs in the biotech industry.

BACTERIOLOGY SERIES – Not All Germs Are “Germs”

  • Date: Tuesdays, May 6, 13 and 20, 2014
  • Time: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Requirement: Middle and High School; Take the entire series
  • Location: Micro World Investigate Lab
  • Instructors: Deb Bailey & Christy Flint

Not all germs are “germs.” Despite their small size, bacteria are involved in a lot of areas: food production, plant and animal health, astrobiology, disease, evolution, microbial/insect symbiosis, bioremediation, and genetic engineering to produce pharmaceuticals and biofuels. In this 3-part series, bacteria, in all their terrorizing as well as life-saving forms, will be examined through a variety of hands-on activities such as streaking culture plates, Gram staining, and setting up biochemical and antibiotic sensitivity tests to identify an unknown bacteria. The series will conclude with a survey of new “rapid” methodologies on the horizon: PCR kits (using genetic patterns for identification) and Maldi-Tof methods (using protein signatures for identification).


  • Date: Thursdays, April 24 and June 5, 2014
  • Time: 6:00-8:00pm
  • Requirement: Middle and High School; Must take the entire series
  • Location: Micro World Investigate Lab
  • Instructor: Deb Bailey

How do you find pollution, track it, fix it, prevent it, and…why bother? During this 2-part series, participants will use hands-on lab activities and discussions to explore various methods used to find, track and fix pollution, such as: PCR; chromogenic fluorescence and bioluminescence methods; classic bacterial cultures as ways to detect and trace pollution; and bioremediation of toxic wastes using bacterial and fungal methods. The second question, “Why Bother?” will be addressed through models, dissections, chemistry activities, and microscopy slides. Participants will learn about the effects of pollution on the body, and why it matters to find solutions to these issues.

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