MassBioEd, Amplyus and New England BioLabs help bring PCR technology to High Schools

Apr 14, 2014

This spring a new partnership was formed to help bring the exciting technology of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) into Massachusetts high schools.  PCR is a fundamental tool in biotechnology and builds upon concepts central to many core biology classes, yet many high school teachers do not have a means to incorporate PCR techniques into the classroom. MassBioEd has partnered with Amplyus (the makers of miniPCR) and New England BioLabs (our reagents partner) to provide teachers and thus their students access to these biotech experiences.  

The three-way collaboration brings content, technology, and reagents into the hands of teachers eager to implement biotechnology labs.  Together, we've created a self-contained module where students learn to use biotechnology to explore a real-world public health issue: an outbreak of contaminated food.  In this simulated investigation, students identify the food source of an E.coli outbreak that has made the population ill.  This activity engages students in a real-world problem with serious economic and public health consequences and showcases techniques commonly used in the industry.

Through this collaboration, interested schools can now obtain the reagents to implement this lab, free of charge.  This includes the classroom materials (presentation slides, lab protocol, and teacher's guide) and the lab reagents needed to complete this experience for a full classroom.  The reagents for this lab experience were made available through a generous donation from New England BioLabs, Ipswich, MA.  Initially these materials are available on a limited scale as we seek to improve and expand this collaboration between miniPCR, MassBioEd, and NEB.

The complete set of class and lab materials are available from MassBioEd or the miniPCR team. If you are ready to try this exciting new lab contact us.   MassBioEd Whitney Hagins (whitney.hagins@massbio.org). For more information on the compact and affordable mini PCR machine see the Amplyus (miniPCR) website (www.minipcr.com) or contact them at team@minipcr.com or phone (781-990-8PCR).

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