On February 12th, around 45 6th graders from Piggott, AR toured the Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI) at Arkansas State University. This was conducted as part of the ABI Outreach program. The ABI Outreach program is geared towards middle and high school students, giving them exposure to a high-tech facility, and the research being conducted within. Some of these events include a hands-on demonstration of how to use biological principles to extract DNA from strawberries.
This program gives students a view of science in which they may not have in their community, with the hopes of them gaining an interest in the biosciences, leading them to the desire to further their education. The tours and demonstrations place emphasis on chemical, biological, mathematical, and biotechnological principles applied in today’s world of science. It also focuses on ABI’s dedication to improving the lives and health of all Arkansans.
During the February 12th tour, the 6th graders toured several labs. They visited labs including the Plant Infiltration facility, animal facility, the Standoff Hazardous Agent Detection and Evaluation System (SHADES) laboratory, witnessed the strawberry DNA extraction demonstration, and visited several other labs and took part in a variety of activities.
Arkansas State University is a state university that places a high emphasis on research. More information about the ABI Outreach program and how to sign up your school for a visit can be found at http://www2.astate.edu/a/abi/education-and-outreach/.