Middle School Biotech Camps


The HudsonAlpha Educational Outreach team provides several weeks of summer 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, as well as dates and registration information can be found below.

Code of Life (Basic Camp)

Registration for Code of Life camps in Summer 2017 is now filled. If you are still interested in attending Code of Life, please join the waitlist through the registration button below. 

June 5-9, 2017, from 1 to 4 pm
July 17-21, 2017, from 9 am to noon

Eligibility: Rising 6th-9th graders
Cost: $150/student

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. Throughout the camp, students use the equipment found in most science research labs and gain hands-on experience in micropipetting and centrifuging. The culminating experiment has campers creating glow-in-the-dark bacteria.

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 Lab coat.

UDSO Challenge (Advanced Camp)

June 12-16, 2017, from 1 to 4 pm
Eligibility: Rising 6th-9th graders who have completed Code of Life Camp
Cost: $200/student

During this exciting weeklong 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 Lab Coat (Advanced Camp)

July 24-28, 2016 from 9 am to noon
Eligibility: Rising 6th-9th graders who have completed Code of Life Camp
Cost: $200/student

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.