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BRITE Outreach

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BRITE FUTURES:

Bridging the Gap: Research & Public Awareness

  • BRITE Futures recognizes the vital role of science education to our way of life, our health, and our economy. Our goal is to help bridge the gap between current research and public awareness.
  • BRITE Futures is dedicated to collaborating with K-12 teachers and administrators to foster North Carolina students’ understanding of biotechnology concepts and skills.
  • Our mission is to share research and resources with the university community, public education and other partners, in ways that contribute to BRITE’s leadership in K-12 biotechnology education.

Engaging the Community: Research & Applications

Our K-12 Programs

  • Provide quality biotechnology experiences that meet the diverse needs of students.
  • Make science real and relevant.
  • Provide age-appropriate opportunities that are aligned with state and national science standards.
  • Are designed to challenge, inspire and engage students by incorporating cutting-edge research.

Activities Provided by the BRITE Futures Program

  • Enrichment activities that include special presentations, mini classes, and demonstrations.
  • Tours of research labs and conversations with scientists.
  • Hands-on lab activities with professional lab grade equipment on site and in schools.
  • Lectures, career and scholarship information.

 BRITE Futures has served over 10,000 North Carolina students from 2008 -2016.

BRITE Futures Program

  • Increases students’ confidence with fun and practical experience.
  • Exposes students to hands-on science learning and professional-grade science equipment.
  • Provides opportunities for students to envision and pursue careers in science and biotechnology.

Special Programs

Biotechnology Summer Camps for Middle School and High School Students

Our one- week biotechnology summer camps, for middle school and high school students:

  • Are open to students throughout North Carolina.
  • Inspire students and provide a head start on identifying careers in science and biotechnology.
  • Provide an experience that is both educational and fun, regardless of prior knowledge in genetics and biotechnology.

We provide professional development opportunities for teachers

  • With training in cutting edge science content and methods.
  • With information on biotech careers.
  • With continued support for teachers that will empower them to use new resources and approaches to science teaching. 

Examples of Activities Provided by BRITE

Students extract DNA from a strawberry in sufficient quantities to be spooled.

Students learn to measure small volumes with precise instruments called digital micropipettes, the primary tool of the biotechnologist. They are asked to construct a model of a spectrum following directions for using food coloring and the best pipette techniques possible.

Students discover the molecular basis of sickle cell disease by using gel electrophoresis as a diagnostic tool to differentiate normal hemoglobin from hemoglobin found in individuals with sickle cell disease.

Students assume the role of forensic scientists and use DNA  restriction analysis (popularly known as DNA Fingerprinting) to analyze a drop of "blood" found at the scene of a robbery as they determine which of a number of suspects committed the crime.

Students perform an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), using a simulated viral extract, to screen hypothetical patients for the presence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Students assume the role of laboratory investigators for a court case concerning the compositions of three sports drinks. Students develop skills in microanalysis and spectrophotometry as they collect quantitative data to determine the drinks' protein composition.

Crime Scene Investigator, PCR Basics: Students learn how trace amounts of DNA are used by forensic scientists to identify a person. Students use the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to amplify DNA and gel electrophoresis to identify the DNA. (Requires 5-6 hours)

Students extract DNA from their own cheek cells using a simple laboratory procedure and watch it precipitate from solution as floating white strands. The DNA strands can then be collected and transferred into a vial or necklace.

Students use hydrophobic interactive chromatography, a key process in biotechnology research, to purify a genetically engineered designer protein (leptin) from transformed bacterial cells.

Students become virus hunters as they try to identify the viral agent for a fictitious potentially deadly disease outbreak. They perform electrophoresis to separate the samples and are able to compare banding patterns to identify the unknown virus strain.

Students perform an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), to prevent an allergic reactions by detecting ingredients that aren’t listed on food content labels.

Sign up now for BRITE Futures High School  Summer Camp, July 11 - July 14, 2016

Summer Camp Flyer              Summer Camp Application

Interested in learning more? Please contact us:

Betty Brown, MS, Outreach Coordinator
(919) 530-6889
bwbrown@nccu.edu

Carla Oldham, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
(919) 530-7728
coldham@nccu.edu

Natacha Janvier-Derilus M.S. Academic Advisor
(919) 530-7717
njanvierderilus@nccu.edu

 
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North Carolina Central University
1801 Fayetteville St., Durham, NC 27707