$150

Teen DNA Detective Summer Workshop

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Decatur Makers

605 West Ponce de Leon Avenue

Decatur, GA 30030

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Have you seen a plant or insect and wonder what it is? Traditionally, you could consult a field guide or taxonomic key to help us attempt to identify the specimen. But that might be a challenge. Scientists estimate that there exist over 8.7 million different species on earth, yet only about 1.25 million have been described and cataloged. That field guide you’re referencing is only going to have the most common species listed. And even if your specimen of interest is a common species, often multiple species can look so similar that even experts have trouble telling them apart. For example, Astraptes fulgerator is a common type of skipper butterfly that was first described in 1775. Not until 2004 did scientists learn what was thought to be a single species of butterfly was actually a species complex consisting of at least 10 different species. With this much complexity, how can non-experts ever hope to get a handle on species identification?

We can look at it's DNA. Like a barcode found on a box of cereal allows point-of-sale systems to automatically identify a product, DNA barcodes use a short section of DNA to uniquely identify organisms to the species level. Sound difficult? Well with some special tools and a little know-how you can do it to!

The Decatur Makers Community Lab is excited to offer this exciting activity to teens during second annual Teen Summer Workshop. In this week-long workshop, teen scientists will use DNA barcoding to conduct real-world scientific inquiry. Each participant will publish their results to the International Barcode of Life database making a meaningful scientific contribution. There are no grades, no tests, and no prerequisites. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions and explore the topics presented in their own ways. This workshop is meant for any teen curious about the world around them, interested in pursuing the study of biology, or who just wants to explore a new field of DIY.

Who?

The DNA Detective Summer Workshop is open to all teens in grades rising 9 to 12. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the facilitator.

Where?

Decatur Makers

When?

The workshop will run for the week of July 8-12 from 9:00am - 2:00pm. There will be a 30 minute lunch break each day. Participants are responsible for providing their own lunch. A refrigerator and microwave are available and participants may leave the space to buy lunch from a local Decatur restaurant with written parent permission. On Friday, parents are invited to attend the workshop expo to from 1:00p - 2:00pm to see what their teens have been up to all week.

Cost?

The cost of attendance is $150 per teen and covers supplies for the lab activities as well as a lab notebook for each participant.

For more information and a detailed schedule please see the Informational Packet.


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Location

Decatur Makers

605 West Ponce de Leon Avenue

Decatur, GA 30030

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Refund Policy

Refunds up to 1 day before event

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