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National Science Foundation Grant No. DUE 0757292.  See full size image

WSU Spokane CityLab—in collaboration with Spokane Community College and the EWU Biotechnology Program, and supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation—offered a professional experience for science teachers and career counselors. 

The goal of this grant was to implement and evaluate a three-phase Biotechnology Education Infusion Program (BEI) to assist science teachers and career counselors to effectively deliver information about biotechnology career opportunities to students, leading to

  • enhanced student knowledge about the industry,
  • enhanced laboratory skills sets, and
  • an increase in the numbers of students entering the biotechnology
    work force.  

BEI Program (DOC) »

Details of the BEI program including goals, objectives, strategies and project outcomes.

NSF Report (PDF) »

A copy of the NSF final report providing student, teacher and counselor outcomes; and recommendations for STEM educators and professional development providers.


Used--and Approved!--by BEI Teachers

pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kit

Genetic engineering is the process of manipulating the genetic material of an organism — often to include the DNA from a foreign organism.

In this activity, students transform bacteria by introducing a gene from a bioluminescent jellyfish. They use the same procedure for creating "designer proteins" that has led to the explosion of new health treatments, agricultural applications, and environmental solutions.

GFP Chromatography Kit

Students begin this activity with the pGLO bacterial transformation kit. A colony of transformed bacteria are placed in liquid cultures overnight then lysed to release their cellular contents. GFP is purified from the bacterial contaminants using the HIC columns provided in the kit.

The unique fluorescent property of GFP allows real-time monitoring of the extraction and purification processes. pGLO transformation and GFP purification together are key processes used in biotechnology to produce and purify designer proteins with commercial or research value.

ELISA Immuno Explorer Kit

Explore biodefense, immunology, agriculture, and health science with this topical, hands-on classroom lab. The ability of antibodies to act like magic bullets and target viral, bacterial, and allergenic antigens in the body also makes them ideal biodetection tools in the hunt for antigens in bioscience research and medical diagnostic tests.

This kit integrates multiple core content areas. It facilitates teaching about immune system functions and about the unique properties of antibodies that have revolutionized medicine, epidemiology, and life science research.

GMO Investigator Kit

Students engage in a complete investigation in which they gather sample food items from the grocery store, extract DNA from the samples, amplify the DNA using PCR, and use gel electrophoresis to identify the presence or absence of amplified GMO sequences.

The GMO Investigator kit uses PCR and DNA electrophoresis to test for the presence of two different GMO-associated DNA sequences: the 35S promoter of the cauliflower mosaic virus, and the terminator of the nopaline synthase gene of Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

These DNA sequences are present in most (>85%) of the GM crops that are approved for distribution worldwide. In addition, the integrity of the plant DNA extracted from food is tested by using PCR to amplify a section of the Photosystem II chloroplast gene that is common to most higher plants.


Lab Materials

Middle and high school teachers can request the following materials to conduct the electrophoresis series of labs (Electrophoresis Exploration, Dye Lab, DNA Lab):

  • Agarose (pre-mixed)
  • TAE Buffer (50X concentration)
  • 1M Sodium Chloride solution
  • Phenol Red
  • Dye Samples (set of six)
  • DNA samples (must be requested at least two weeks prior to use; must be stored frozen)
  • Eppendorf tubes, pipette tips, 50 cc centrifuge tubes, pH paper

Please allow a minimum of two weeks for preparation and mailing of these materials.

Lab Protocols & Guides

The following lab protocols and instructor's guides include equipment and materials purchasing information.


2009–2010 School Year

Teachers can request these kits from the WSU Equipment Loan Program.

Please indicate in the box at the bottom of the online request form that you are part of the "Biotechnology In Your School Program" with WSU Spokane CityLab.  

Basic Electrophoresis Kit

  • 4 power supplies
  • 8 electrophoresis gel boxes
  • Pipettes (2 – 20ul; and 20-200ul)
  • 1 minifuge
  • 1 light box
  • Instruction manual

Advanced Electrophoresis Kit

Required for the GMO BioRad Kit

  • 1 power supply
  • 1 large electrophoresis gel box that runs multiple samples
  • 1 PCR thermocycler
  • 1 microcentrifuge
  • 1 vortexer
  • Pipettes (0.2 – 2.0ul; 2 – 20ul)
  • UV light box


If you have trouble accessing the Equipment Loan Progarm online, please contact Sylvia Oliver for assistance (olivers@wsu.edu).


Your students can use this brochure as a guide to create their own Biotechnology Career Brochures as individual or class projects.

Contact Information

Dr. Sylvia Oliver, Director
WSU Spokane CityLab

Telephone: 509.358.7635
E-mail: olivers@wsu.edu

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1495
Spokane WA 99210-1495

Shipping Address
412 E. Spokane Falls Blvd. 
Spokane, WA 99202

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