SCF Works with Area High School Students on Biotechnology Skills

(Bradenton, Fla., April 25, 2017) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF), in partnership with the Manatee County School District, has welcomed students from three high schools to campus to learn about its biotechnology programs. The Manatee County School District awarded SCF a grant to offer high school students a hands-on opportunity to learn about biotechnology. 

Braden River High School will bring the third group of students to SCF on Friday, April 28. Natural Sciences professors will teach students about DNA fingerprinting technology and put them in a crime scene scenario where they will be assigned to find the perpetrator. As part of the program, students will learn proper procedures and techniques for collecting and analyzing samples.

The daylong workshop is designed to allow students to identify the perpetrator based on a DNA fingerprinting pattern and to build DNA models. As the biotechnology industry continues to grow in the Gulf Coast area, this program aims to generate interest in science using biotechnology as a lead-in to exploring career paths. So far, 85 students from Manatee and Bayshore high schools have participated in the workshop.

The activity helps students gain the skills needed to use molecular equipment (such as micro-centrifuge, micropipette and electrophoresis gel box), which high schools rarely have. The program also provides high school teachers with a professional development opportunity. High school biology teachers have their own station so they can become familiar with basic molecular techniques.

Manatee High School biology teacher Alyson Colosia said she “enjoyed learning about the techniques that I teach in my classroom, so that I can explain them in an authentic way.”

During the day of the workshop, high school students get a chance to experience a “day in college” which includes a tour of the campus and lunch at the Student Union. For many, this is their first time on a college campus and the visit inspires students to explore their future education and career goals.

For more information, contact Jose Ors, chair for natural sciences, at or 941-752-5608.  

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