Identification and Study of Wild-Caught Nematodes

Course Description

Scientists utilize model organisms to understand biological processes, often those relevant to human disease; both in identifying disease-causing mutations and dissecting the cellular and molecular pathways that underlie disease-pathogenesis. Model organisms are genetically amendable, in addition to being easy to maintain and breed in a laboratory setting. In this project-based laboratory course, you will be introduced to the free-living microscopic roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans, as a tool to address real-world biological questions from a variety of scientific approaches (developmental, cellular, molecular, and genetic).

This course includes an academic project that you will work on over the two weeks and present on the final day to your peers. One of the primary goals of the course is to enhance awareness and learning of laboratory skills. Working in groups of 2-4, you will design, conduct, analyze, and present your research findings. Each student/group is responsible for making solutions/reagents, collecting data, troubleshooting experimental protocols, and peer collaboration/interaction. Each team will summarize their findings in a 5-10 minute in-class oral/signed presentation. Experience in a collaborative lab setting will allow you to be more competitive when applying for future research opportunities.

By the end of this course, you will:
• Develop as young professional researchers by practicing foundational research lab skills
• Demonstrate exemplary lab safety, etiquette, as well as a strong work ethic
• Perform techniques in molecular biology including DNA extraction & PCR
• Demonstrate ethical conduct in laboratory settings and academic work
• Evaluate scientific literature published in peer-reviewed journals
• Provide feedback to peers to improve oral presentations/signed presentations
• Be aware of the benefit and necessity of collaborative research


One year of biology is helpful but is not required.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: July 18, 2022 - July 29, 2022
Duration: 2 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 8:30A-11:20A and 2 afternoon class sessions per week
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Melissa Silvestrini
Course Number: 10002