Summer 2016: Exciting Science Programs for Kids at the BTC Institute!

First, a quick update: Hard to believe, but we’re in our 21st academic year at the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute (BTC Institute).  February finds us immersed in our usual second semester offerings.  Our Biotechnology Field Trips program is on the way to record attendance, but it’s not too late for you to schedule a visit for this spring, or for a group this summer: btci blog photo 2http://www.btci.org/k12/bft/bft.html.

We’re also pleased to report that work site mentors have been found for almost all of the juniors and seniors enrolled in the State of Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship Program in Biotechnology – Dane County (http://www.btci.org/k12/yap/yap.html).

Now, let’s turn our attention to Summer 2016.  We’re excited to once again offer great opportunities for upper elementary, middle and high school students to engage in activities that will allow them to explore their interests in the life sciences – and to learn a lot along the way. And, it’s not too soon to think about summer! Here’s a rundown of what’s in store:

For Elementary and Middle School Students:

  • A CELEBRATION OF LIFE XXI
    Summer Science Sessions 2016: Planet Earth and Beyond!

    Grades 3-5: June 13 – 24, 8:30-12:00, M-F mornings
    II. Grades 6-8: June 27 – July 8 (no session on July 4th), 8:30-12:00, M-F mornings

A longtime partnership with the African American Ethnic Academy, A Celebration of Life sessions feature hands-on activities — in outdoor, classroom, and laboratory settings — as well as guest speakers and field trips. Students’ family members and friends are invited to attend a special program on the last day of the session. For this celebration students select and prepare activities to share, guests and sponsors are thanked for their support of the program, each student receives a certificate, and lunch is provided.btci blog photo 1

Topics will include:

  • planet earth
  • other planets in our solar system
  • hands-on laboratory activities related to planets, gravity and what living systems need
  • outside activities and a field trip
  • current NASA projects related to planetary science – including the search for life and water on other planets
  • historic and contemporary African American (STEM) professionals, including those affiliated with NASA
  • planetary science careers

The cost of each two-week session per student is $180. Enrollment is limited to 20 students per session. Scholarships and transportation assistance are available according to need. For more information regarding both sessions, please visit http://www.btci.org/k12/cb/camp_biotech.html, or contact Barbara Bielec.

For High School Students:
NOTE: These experiences are designed by certified educators at the BTC Institute and take place in labs which are dedicated to training scientists of all ages. Peter Kritsch (Biology and Biotechnology Teacher, Oregon High School) and Barbara Bielec, M.S. (K-12 Program Director, BTC Institute) serve as the primary instructors.

  • CAMP BIOTECH ONE: THE WONDERS OF DNA
    Dates: Monday, July 18 – Friday, July 22, 2016, 9am-3:30pm
    Cost: $380 (included all materials; lunch and snacks; scholarships are available)

btci blog photo3Want to know how scientists can determine who committed a crime from just a small blood sample or how genetic mutants might be made? Satisfy your curiosity about these questions and more by attending CAMP BIOTECH ONE: THE WONDERS OF DNA.

Very successfully launched in 2015, this one week experience at the BTC Institute is for students entering 9th or 10th grade in fall semester 2016 who are interested learning more about DNA and genetic engineering. Students will build a DNA model, learn how to extract DNA from cells, transfer DNA into cells by heat shock transformation, amplify DNA to detect small quantities by PCR, and use restriction enzymes to identify DNA sequences. No prior DNA knowledge is necessary.

  • CAMP BIOTECH TWO: THE RETURN OF DNA
    Dates: Monday, July 25 – Friday, July 29, 2016, 9am-3:30pm
    Cost: $380 (included all materials; lunch and snacks; scholarships are available)

NEW IN 2016! Ready to explore genetic engineering in more detail? Have we got an opportunity for you — CAMP BIOTECH TWO: THE RETURN OF DNA. We will be creating genetically-engineered bacteria which glow in the dark, exploring the world of stem cells, using computers to analyze DNA sequences, and learning how to extract proteins from cells. Of course, it wouldn’t be Camp Biotech without plenty of guest speakers, fun games, and even a field trip to a research lab.

This one week experience at the BTC Institute is for students entering 10th grade in fall semester 2016 who have taken biology and are interested learning more about DNA and genetic engineering.

For more information regarding both Camp Biotech sessions, please visit http://www.btci.org/k12/cb/camp_biotech.html, or contact Karin Borgh.

 For those of you who enjoy working with students, we are always happy for volunteer assistance and would love to hear from you – please contact either Karin or Barbara (see above).  Thank you!

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Karin Borgh, PhD is the Executive Director of the BTC Institute.

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