The JCVI DiscoverGenomics! Mobile Laboratory
JCVI believes that every child deserves access to authentic, hands-on, inquiry-based science experiences. This is the philosophy driving our DiscoverGenomics! (DG!) Mobile Laboratory Program. The San Diego-based Mobile Lab is a modified motor coach, outfitted with advanced laboratory equipment, electricity, running water and network capabilities. It takes science concepts and equipment to middle schools (grades 6–8) in order to provide them with educational tools they may not otherwise be able to access. Up to 26 students can board the Mobile Lab in order to conduct experiments in a unique environment designed to stimulate curiosity and increased scientific interest.
On the Road with JCVI
The DG! Mobile Lab program began in 2006 thanks to funding from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). Originally located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, the Mobile Lab has provided over 20,000 students with access to inquiry-based, hands-on science activities since 2006. These activities familiarize middle school students with fundamental bioscience concepts and techniques through activities such as:
- Mystery of the Crooked Cell - Students use gel electrophoresis to distinguish between normal and sickle cell hemoglobin protein.
- Case of the Bloody Statuette - Students put their skills to work for a private investigation firm investigating a local mystery using DNA profiling.
- Peas in a Pod - Students determine the mode of inheritance of a genetic condition by analyzing DNA samples.
- Acid Rain - Students test the pH of common household products and examine the effects of acid rain on the environment.
- Cleaning Up Oil Spills - Students examine the effects of oil on birds and develop ways to clean up water contaminated with oil using detergent and oil-eating microbes.
Bring the Mobile Lab to San Diego Schools
Now the Mobile Lab has travelled to San Diego, CA, and the JCVI Education Program is working to bring this exciting programming to middle schools throughout the county. If you are interested in partnering with JCVI to help this happen, please contact education(AT)jcvi.org.
Mobile Laboratory Coalition
DiscoverGenomics! is a member of the Mobile Laboratory Coalition, a partnership of traveling laboratory programs, institutions of higher education, and K-12 schools and school systems.