The Gene Machine is again on the highway.
Students throughout the state are again getting hands-on expertise in genetic science from the Greenwood Genetic Center’s genetic education instructors, who’ve resumed taking the middle’s mobile labs to colleges.
Instructors take the Gene Machine, a 41-foot customized coach outfitted with a mobile lab, and the Helix Express, a cargo van that carries provides instructors can take right into a classroom, to colleges across the state to do genetics-based labs and introduce college students to biotechnology abilities equivalent to micropipetting and gel electrophoresis.
Leta Tribble, director of education for the middle, mentioned the target of the outreach is to introduce college students to the sector of biotechnology and supply them hands-on expertise for abilities that are utilized by scientists. Another goal, she mentioned, is to introduce these college students to careers that are accessible.
The middle serves all college students within the state whether or not in public faculty, personal faculty or homeschooled. The middle has a laboratory classroom on website in Greenwood.
“We’re really very, very interested in working with schools that may be in areas of the state that just do not have the same equipment that we can provide, so we’d really like to work with those students in those schools,” Tribble mentioned.
“We just feel that all students, regardless of where they live in our state and what opportunities may be available, we would like to introduce them to the same opportunities as other schools.”
Dillon Gary, lead coordinator and teacher, mentioned the labs enable college students to expertise issues they won’t have earlier than.
He mentioned quite a lot of instances, the employees interacts with college students who don’t choose science, however working with the instructors introduces them to completely different alternatives and prospects inside science.
Genetics teacher Olivia Nail mentioned, quite a lot of instances, college students have a slim concept of what the sector has to supply, equivalent to being a physician, nurse or engineer. The labs introduce them to different fields equivalent to forensics and genetics.
“So we have some labs that allow our students to take on those different roles,” Nail mentioned. “So we have a murder mystery where they’re acting as a forensic technologist or we have the ‘Be the Geneticist’ lab where they’re really exploring some of the genetic disorders and diagnosing a patient.”
Nail was a pupil within the mobile lab throughout highschool and mentioned it’s one of many causes she determined to main in genetics in faculty. There are a pair others on the middle’s employees who participated within the mobile lab throughout faculty, she mentioned.
“I always loved the genetics units in my biology classes, but it was in my AP Bio class that they came to visit and getting to work with all of the equipment and really just kind of simulate what people do in their labs and just learning more and more about the research that geneticists are doing, it really just kind of like furthered my passion for that and it was really a cool experience to say like ‘Oh wow, I can do this, this was really fun, I really enjoyed it,’” Nail mentioned.
Genetics teacher Marie Smith mentioned half the battle of getting folks into science careers is permitting them to really feel empowered in a lab setting and really feel like they are able to being part of the sector.
“So once we have that initial interaction and let them get some hands-on experience, they can see their results and feel a little more empowered get exposed to the technology, become comfortable with it and hopefully, in the long run, pursue some of those careers,” Smith mentioned.
The group left Monday afternoon for a couple of days within the Pee Dee area of the state after a COVID-19 hiatus and has dozens of journeys on the calendar into 2022.
Contact employees author Lindsey Hodges at 864-943-5644 or on Twitter @LindseyNHodges.