All of our half-day experiences for middle school groups are $150/group. The HudsonAlpha Bistro can provide a boxed lunch for $8.50 a student for experiences lasting over 3 hours.

Are you an Alabama public school? If so, learn about our funding to cover field trip costs.

Exploring Enzymes (1.5 hrs)

In this half-day, lab-based activity, students will investigate enzymes. Students will begin by learning about enzyme specificity using locks and keys and discuss the role of enzymatic reactions during digestion of a fast food meal. In addition, students will evaluate several enzymes used in the production of apple juice and create cheese using enzymes produced by biotechnology.

Kitchen DNA with a Twist of Inquiry (1.5 hrs)

In this hands-on lab, students begin by performing a standard DNA extraction from strawberries. Students will learn how cell structure impacts the extraction process and discuss why scientists extract DNA with content presented at a middle school level. Then, students take DNA extractions to the next level by creating their own extraction solutions using common household items to extract DNA from one of a variety of food items.

What is Biotechnology? (1.5 hours)

In this half-day experience, students are allowed to answer the question, “What is Biotechnology?”  Students will use a web-based timeline to investigate key events in the history of biotechnology and learn about modern applications of biotechnology.  In the lab, students will examine and use biotechnology tools.  Students will tour HudsonAlpha laboratory facilities. 

Genome Cache® (can be combined with other experiences) (1 hr)  

*May be a challenging activity for some middle school students due to scientific vocabulary in gene descriptions.*

Using the double helix sidewalks of McMillian Park, students investigate nearly 200 genetic points of interest along the GenomeWalk®.  The Genome Cache app provides clues to send students on a scavenger hunt through the genome.  Students respond to genetic trivia questions to receive the next clue and can compare their scores to the statewide leaderboard.  Genome Caching is only available at certain times.  Instructors interested in Genome Caching with their students should inquire about availability when scheduling a visit to HudsonAlpha.