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Bioforensics + DNA Explorations

Try the most innovative STEM and tech camp in the Palo Alto and Silicon Valley area.  The all-inclusive, full day camp includes snacks, lunch, and before/after care.  Sparkiverse creates a healthy STEM environment where campers move between tech, science, art, and sports blocks throughout the day.  Sessions include:  Creativity & Circuits, Minecraft Imaginations: Design + Build Challenge, Minecraft Rally: Team Challenge, Retro Game Design Lab, Robot Coding Starter Lab, Internet of Things (IOT) Starter Lab, Internet of Things (IOT) Imagination Lab, Animal Adventures, and Bioforensics + DNA Explorations Lab.

bioforensics + dna EXPLorations Lab


About THis Camp

why have your camper wait until college to do meaningful experiments with DNA?  We've kid-sized this complicated topic into an amazing hands-on exploration lab!

Now your camper can learn about genetics and DNA in our BioForensics Lab.  Sparkiverse wraps this session in lots of fun, but not at the expense of science.  We teach them how to test DNA through PCR and gel electrophoresis.  And how to compare the DNA results to solve forensic challenges. Campers sample DNA to solve different “mysteries” - including “GMO or No” experiments on food - and explore the science inside their “Bacteria Lightbulb” project.

INSIDE OUR BIOFORENSICS LAB

The Sparkiverse BioForensics Lab is stocked with sophisticated equipment with impressive names.  A PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) machine to replicate DNA to create enough for testing.  A Gel Electrophoresis machine to separate the DNA into a visible ladder for analysis.  A mini centrifuge to spin down the sample DNA.  Micropipettes to put DNA samples into the gel.  DNA extraction buffers and staining agents. Plus cool Lab coats too!



Sneak Peek at the Week

  • DNA Unravelled:  Campers learn about DNA, chromosomes, genetic traits, and dominant vs recessive genes by collecting and comparing data.

  • Bacteria Lightbulb.  Yes. We actually make this.  Using bacteria that glows, students create petri dish artwork and track its growth.  Then, they mix the bacteria and some nutrients inside a jar to create an environment where it grows and glows for 2-4 weeks.

  • GMO or NO?:  Campers extract DNA from food to differentiate the GMO and no-GMO foods.  This is accomplished by identifying whether a common “promoter” was used to insert a new gene into the original DNA.

  • Punnett Square-Off:  Campers learn the difference between genotype and phenotype with Punnett Squares.  Students survey family members about various traits and campers use the data to make inferences.

  • Broccoli Love? No broccoli is eaten for this challenge.  But we do solve the mystery of whether your camper has the genetic variant that allows them to taste the bitterness!


Who will Love This camp?

  • Students who already love experimenting with science and are curious to learn more about genes and DNA

  • Students who might be inspired to try science by this more fun and creative approach