August 12, 2014
The University of New England hosted an iXplore STEM camp, August 4-8, allowing high school students to utilize the facilities on both UNE's Portland and Biddeford campuses. The camp provided students with opportunities to gain experience and skills, meet professionals, and explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
Students participated in the Maine Barcode of Life project, an internet-enabled biotechnology research endeavor to identify and classify organisms by extracting and analyzing DNA sequences. They used a seine net to collect marine specimens for the barcoding research, and worked in the research laboratories at the University of New England Marine Science Center.
In another module, focused on genetic engineering, students cloned a fluorescent jelly fish gene, genetically engineered a glowing bacteria, and purified the glowing protein (GFP).
The campers also had the chance to tour UNE’s Westbrook College of Health Professions and to use its clinical simulation labs for hands-on activities in medicine, dentistry and pharmacology. They practiced universal health care skills such as measuring a simulated patient’s pulse and blood pressure, used dental instruments, and learned about the pharmacist’s evolving role in U.S. health care.
Deborah Landry, Ph.D., director of iXplore STEM, led the camp. Landry was joined by UNE participants: Leah Bymers, associate lecturer in the Department of Marine Science; Scott Steinberg, dean of University Admissions; Vanessa O’Donnell, confocal technician; Geoffrey Ganter, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Biology; Dawne-Marie Dunbar, director of Clinical Simulation; Lionel Vachon, D.D.S., assistant dean of Clinical Affairs; and Glenn Rosenthal, Ed.D., associate dean, Daniel Brazeau, Ph.D., research associate professor, and Kenneth Lee McCall, Pharm.D., associate professor, all of the College of Pharmacy. Eliza Grlickova-Duzevik, a Ph.D. candidate, also participated.
To see photos of UNE’s iXplore campers in action, click here.