Published: Feb. 20, 2019

MSU St. Andrews announces winter workshops for teachers

Contact(s): Melanie Kauffman Office of Research and Graduate Studies office: (517) 432-4499

MSU St. Andrews is adding various new teacher workshops to support STEM classroom education. Both new and old workshops are free for area teachers and offer hands-on activities that can be incorporated into their curriculum. Workshops include:

The Forensic DNA Fingerprinting which simulates human forensic testing by taking DNA from a hypothetical crime scene and matching it with the DNA of five “suspects.” Participants will learn how to use restriction enzymes to cut DNA, and gel electrophoresis to separate the resulting DNA fragments by size, thereby generating a DNA fingerprint. This workshop supports school delivery of Project Lead the Way content, and  is available from noon to 4:30 p.m., Feb. 26 and Mar.6.

The Plant DNA Fingerprinting explores genetic diversity in plants by comparing the DNA fingerprints of a variety of common herbs and vegetables. Teachers will learn several basic molecular biology techniques, including isolating DNA from plant tissue, amplifying DNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), setting up DNA restriction digestions, and separating DNA fragments based on their size using gel electrophoresis. This full-day workshop augments Project Lead the Way content with advanced topics of DNA isolation and PCR, and is available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Apr. 10 and  18.

The new Photosynthesis provides a laboratory-based overview of photosynthesis, the process by which plants transform light energy into chemical energy. Participants will study the effect of light on photosynthesis and compare the rates of photosynthesis for plants in different light conditions. This workshop supports school delivery of Project Lead the Way content, and is offered from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Mar.21 and 27.

The 3D printing offers experience working with computer-aided design (CAD) and 3D printing to provide the advantages of visual aids in STEM classrooms. MSU St. Andrews currently offers three options for 3D printing: basic, advanced and open labs. The basic workshops are for novice users and will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on  Mar.14. The advanced workshops are for those with previous experience and will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 21 and Ma. 20. Additionally, the open lab drop-in hours are available from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on  March 15.

The equipment needed to perform these activities will be available for teachers to either “checkout” or use with their classes at the MSU St. Andrews facility. Instructors are also available to consult with teachers on how to modify experiments to fit within facility constraints in their classrooms.

For more details or to register  visit: