SciTech High School Labs

The SciTech high school labs are currently designed to support the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). We currently offer eight different lab activities for grades 9-12. Several of our labs are aligned with advanced placement (AP) biology, chemistry, and environmental science curricula. 

CHESAPEAKE BAY CRITTER INVESTIGATION

Available May 15-October 31

Students discover how to use a water sampler by collecting water samples from the Inner Harbor (weather permitting). They use a dissection scope and learn how to identify different species of organisms living on a biofilm disc. They test the water for temperature and salinity and explore how water quality affects the species of organisms found at different depths. Length of class: 2-2.5 hours. NGSS Alignment

CRUCIAL CONCENTRATION

Students will use the Lowry Assay to determine the concentration of protein in different sports drinks. Students will complete a micropipette challenge, create a set of standards of known protein concentrations, and measure absorbance with a spectrophotometer. They will create a graph of their results and use Beer's Law. This lab meets AP Chemistry curriculum framework EK1.D.3.c and LO1.16. Length of lab: 3 hours. NGSS Alignment

DNA EXTRACTION

In this lab, students explore the role and function of DNA in living organisms as they extract DNA from food samples as well as their own cheek cells. Students will experience the process of identifying a problem, developing a testable hypothesis, scientifically testing a hypothesis, and interpreting results of an experiment. This lab has the option for students to gain practice writing their own protocols. Length of lab: 2.5-3 hours. NGSS Alignment

ILLUMINATING INDICATORS

NOT AVAILABLE ON MONDAYS

Students work for a fictitious company to begin developing a microbioassay to measure water quality. They explore related topics such as types of pollutants in our waterways, bioluminescence, and fluorescence. Students will also design their own laboratory protocols to test bioluminescent bacteria against several types of pollutants. Using evidence from their investigation, students report their findings back to the company. Length of lab: 3 hours. NGSS Alignment

LOOKING INTO LACTASE

In this lab, students will explore and investigate lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose. They will identify independent and dependent variables; create data tables and graphs; and use the claim, evidence, and reasoning framework to construct scientific explanations. This lab has the option for students to design and conduct their own experiment exploring enzyme function in different environments (e.g., pH, temperature). Length of lab: 2.5-3 hours. NGSS Alignment

MYSTERY OF THE CROOKED CELL

In this lab, students will examine histology slides of blood smears, manipulate models of the circulatory system, and understand how sickle cell anemia is genetically passed on working through Punnett Squares and/or pedigrees. Students will learn how to use a micropipette, practice loading samples into an agarose gel, and run protein gel electrophoresis to test a fictional patient for the presence of sickle cell hemoglobin. Advanced/AP biology students will transcribe and translate the first five amino acids found in normal versus sickle cell hemoglobin. This lab aligns with the AP Biology Curriculum Framework. Length of lab: 3 hours. NGSS Alignment

NATURAL PRODUCTS

NOT AVAILABLE ON MONDAYS

In this lab, students work with bioluminescent bacteria to learn about the importance of natural products in our everyday lives. They will investigate antimicrobial properties of different plants, learn how to use a micropipette, and understand the importance of controls in an experiment. Students will experience the process of identifying a problem, scientifically testing a hypothesis, interpreting results of an experiment, and supporting a scientific claim using evidence and reasoning. High school students have the option to write their own protocols, create data tables, and conduct their experiments in the lab. Length of lab: 2.5-3 hours. NGSS Alignment

WILDLIFE FORENSICS

In this lab, students will explore the issue of shark finning, and they will review the laws in place that protect sharks globally. They will calculate, measure, and pour agarose gels; learn how to use a micropipette; and practice loading samples in an agarose gel. Students will run DNA gel electrophoresis to determine if their sample matches great white shark DNA. They will develop a basic understanding of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and its role in DNA analysis (Note: Students will use pre-run PCR products.). This lab aligns with the AP Environmental Science course topic VII.C.3. Length of lab: 2.5-3 hours. NGSS Alignment