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PLTW Students Participate in Lab Exercise at Center for Plant and Life Sciences

October 07, 2014

Students from Hazelwood and Affton high schools who are enrolled in Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum recently participated in a lab exercise as part of the dual credit agreement for St. Louis Community College's Biomedical program.

Forty students from Hazelwood Central, Hazelwood East and Hazelwood West performed spectrophotometry in the Molecular Biology Laboratory at STLCC's Center for Plant and Life Sciences at the Danforth Plant Science Center. These juniors and seniors are taking science, technology, engineering and mathematics classes.

Affton students will complete the lab exercise in November.

“We hope that this program or experience expands as we have other districts offering PLTW biomedical sequence for dual credit,” said Brett Richardson, PLTW coordinator at STLCC.

Jennifer Hill, Biotechnology program coordinator, and Scott Gevaert, Life Science Lab Assistant coordinator, led the classes. There was a short lecture to introduce the topic, then the students prepared solutions to be measured on the spectrophotometer. The spectrophotometer shoots a beam of light at a solution and measures how much light is absorbed by the solution. With this information students were able to determine the concentration of the solution.

“The students were highly motivated, engaged and expressed a great interest in learning more about biotechnology,” said Gevaert. “The faculty and staff who participated had a lot of fun and look forward to doing it again.”

This is the first exercise of a two-part session. The other component will be completed in spring 2015. During the second exercise, students will use centrifugation to separate chloroplasts from spinach. They will use different concentrations of sucrose solutions that have different densities and that allows the chloroplasts to separate from the other leaf tissue material.