Middle School Summer Camps


Each summer the HudsonAlpha Education Outreach team and Sci-Quest, Huntsville’s hands-on science museum, team up to provide several weeks of Biotechnology Camps for middle school students. These half-day camps are available to rising 6th through 9th grade students.

Three different camp options are offered — all housed within the educational spaces at HudsonAlpha. Information about each camp, including dates, descriptions and tuition, can be found on the Sci-Quest website. Biotechnology camps are listed on the downloadable Middle and High School camp listing. Registration for all camps occurs through Sci-Quest in Huntsville, Alabama.

Code of Life (Basic Camp)

The Code of Life camp focuses on DNA. Young scientists begin the week by extracting DNA from a variety of organisms and end the week with a little genetic engineering. Campers learn how the information coded in DNA controls physical traits and investigate how changes in DNA may cause the symptoms of some genetic disorders.  Students tour the HudsonAlpha facilities and meet with HA staff. The Code of Life Campers also investigate the many roles of enzymes in living systems. Through out the camp, students use the equipment found in most science research labs, getting hands on experience in micropipetting and centrifuging. The culminating experiment has campers creating glow-in-the-dark bacteria by inserting the jellyfish gene for green fluorescent protein.

Students who complete the Code of Life Camp are eligible for one of two advanced biotechnology camps: UDSO Challenge and/or I Want to Work in a Labcoat.

UDSO Challenge

During this exciting week-long camp, young scientists will work together to learn and apply basic molecular biology techniques to design a bio-indicator to detect pollution in the river of a peaceful fictitious land. Students will build on the experience acquired in the previous camp using biotechnology tools and equipment to take their explorations to the next level. Students enter the world of UDSO, using a notebook left behind by a previous researcher to diagnose a water born illness. Students are tasked with using biotechnology tools to build a system that can let the townspeople know when the water is safe to drink.

I Want to Work in a LabCoat

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in a biotechnology laboratory? Spend a week investigating the tools, techniques and science behind modern biotech careers. Tour high tech lab spaces, and get a behind the scenes look at one of Alabama’s fastest growing career fields. Young researchers will perform student-driven experiments and maintain a lab notebook of their discoveries.