Jess & Mildred Fisher College of Science & Mathematics


Towson University Center for STEM Excellence

Bioscience Education and Outreach Program

  • Students in Natural Products lab
  • Student sampling for Chesapeake Bay Critter activity
  • Student and lab instructor
  • Students in lab setting
  • Students doing Rain Garden activity

SciTech Student Learning Laboratory

SciTech is the Center for STEM Excellence's dedicated student learning lab. Located in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, SciTech is a field trip destination that engages elementary, middle and high school students in hands-on, inquiry-based science activities that stimulate thought and excite participants.

With eleven different activities to choose from, educators are able to complement and enhance scientific concepts that are already being taught in the classroom. Each of our laboratory activities, aligned with Maryland State Curriculum, are based on real-world problems and issues allowing students to engage in scientific and engineering practices while learning content in new and challenging ways.

Check out our classes and book a field trip to visit us!

 Elementary School (Grades 3-5)

Grade Level SciTech Activity Description Length
3 – 5 Chesapeake Bay Critter Investigation Students study the biodiversity and test the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. 2 – 2.5 hours
3 – 5 Oyster Encounter Students study basic oyster anatomy and physiology to understand the importance of the Eastern Oyster in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. 2 hours
5 Rain Garden Engineering Design Challenge Students work as environmental engineers tasked with designing a rain garden that absorbs the most groundwater. 2.5 – 3 hours
 Middle School (Grades 6-8)

SciTech Activity Description Length
Case of the Vanishing Fish Students help solve a “crime” by examining the crime scene, deciding on and conducting analyses of the evidence found at the scene, and figuring out whodunit! 3 hours
Chesapeake Bay Critter Investigation Students study the biodiversity and test the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. 2.5 – 3 hours
CO₂ and Climate Change Students discover what role carbon dioxide plays in climate change and how climate change is affecting, and will affect, the Chesapeake Bay. 3 hours
DNA Extraction Students explore the role and function of DNA in living organisms by extracting DNA from fruit. 2.5 – 3 hours
Mystery of the Crooked Cell/Mystery Disease Using gel electrophoresis, students determine whether a patient carries the gene that causes sickle cell anemia. 3 hours
Natural Products Students investigate anti-microbial properties of different plants using bioluminescent bacteria. 2.5 – 3 hours
Rain Garden Engineering Design Challenge Students work as environmental engineers tasked with designing a rain garden that absorbs the most groundwater. 2.5 – 3 hours
 High School (Grades 9-12)

SciTech Activity Description Length
Chesapeake Bay Critter Investigation Students study the biodiversity and test the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. 2.5 – 3 hours
Crucial Concentration Students use the Lowry Assay to determine the concentration of protein in different sports drinks. 3 hours
DNA Extraction Students explore the role and function of DNA in living organisms by extracting DNA from fruit. 2.5 – 3 hours
Looking into Lactase Students perform tests on a newly developed lactase enzyme for effectiveness on its substrate while changing the pH and temperature of its environment. 2.5 – 3 hours
Mystery of the Crooked Cell/Mystery Disease Using protein gel electrophoresis, students determine whether a patient carries the gene that causes sickle cell anemia. 3 hours
Natural Products Students investigate anti-microbial properties of different plants using bioluminescent bacteria. 2.5 – 3 hours
Wildlife Forensics Students use DNA gel electrophoresis to test whether tissue confiscated by U.S. Customs officials comes from a great white shark. 2.5 – 3 hours

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