SPARQ-ed 2-day Junior Research Immersions are aimed at providing Year 6-9 students from all over Queensland an opportunity to explore concepts and use techniques not normally covered in a school science laboratory.
This year, our theme will be the use of fluorescent proteins in Cell and Molecular Biology. Students will express Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) in bacterial or mammalian cells, purify the protein by ion-exchange chromatography, and analyse the protein by SDS Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). They will also perform DNA plasmid extraction from bacteria by alkaline lysis, followed by analysis of the purified DNA by agarose gel electrophoresis. Mammalian cells expressing GFP will also be examined by fluorescence microscopy.
The programs are conducted in the SPARQ-ed teaching laboratory, a PC2 rated facility located on the ground floor of the Translational Research Institute in Woolloongabba, Brisbane. Each one is developed and supervised by the SPARQ-ed teacher-scientists in conjunction with researchers from the University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute.
Students from regional Queensland or schools with an ICSEA (Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage) rating of ≤950 may be eligible for a scholarship.