June 24th, 2019

Lab in a Box 2018-19 year-end report

In fall 2017, Genes in Space established the Lab in a Box biotechnology equipment loan program. This free program offers educators a chance to put DNA analysis tools in their students' hands, allowing them to experiment with essential molecular biology techniques like polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and gel electrophoresis. We are proud to have wrapped up our second year of Lab in a Box and look forward to kicking off our third as the 2019-20 school year begins!

We are grateful to the sponsors whose generous support ensures the continued health of the Lab in a Box program. Lab in a Box was founded with support from CASIS and is now funded generously by miniPCR Bio.

We'd also like to thank the dedicated educators who take on the challenges ⁠— and reap the rewards ⁠— that come with equipping their students to succeed in a modern biology lab. Last year, 25 middle and high school teachers received Lab in a Box loans and together, they reached more than 1600 students across 20 states. We are grateful to all the teachers who have participated in our program and are sharing a couple of their Lab in a Box stories below.

Bednarcik Junior High School, Aurora, Illinois

Ms. Amy Truemper sought a Lab in a Box loan for her 8th grade students in hopes of sparking their interest in careers in genetics and deepening their understanding of DNA analysis. By her account, their first experience with PCR and gel electrophoresis was a positive one. She tells us: "Along with learning how to use the equipment and providing a new way to teach students how to analyze data, I found the whole experience made the actual content much more meaningful to students. After completing Lab in a Box, we moved into genetics and cell division. When we got to cell cycle and DNA replication, students in every class immediately were able to connect it to the PCR process and most even used all the correct vocabulary." 

We were thrilled to hear of Ms. Truemper's success and appreciate her students' hard work. Take a peek into Bednarcik Junior High's Lab in a Box experience below:

Fairhope High School, Fairhope, Alabama

When Ms. Tricia Hudson's high school students received their Lab in a Box loan, nearly all of them were brand-new to gel electrophoresis and PCR. Ms. Hudson hoped the loan would boost her students' confidence in the lab and generate excitement about biotechnology. She reports that Lab in a Box helped demystify biotechnology, making it "much more approachable and less 'science fiction.'" We're grateful to Ms. Hudson and her students for making the leap into biotechnology with Lab in a Box! Check out some photos from their loan below:

Interested in Lab in a Box?

Looking for a low-cost way to share biotechnology with your students? Consider applying for a free Lab in a Box loan for the 2019-20 school year! We will be accepting requests through June 30, 2019. Click here to learn more about our program and to request a loan.

Each Lab in a Box loan includes 4 miniPCR Bio DNA Discovery Systems (including a miniPCR, BlueGel electrophoresis system, and micropipette), as well as the reagents and consumables necessary to carry out the miniPCR Bio Genes in Space food safety Learning Lab. Training, instructional resources, and live support are made available to all loan recipients to ensure each Lab in a Box lesson is a success. 

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