Students in grades 6-12 will become biomedical researchers, conducting experiments to combat cancer and diabetes right in their own homes. Each eCLOSE camper will receive a research station in the mail that is theirs to keep, with instruction provided by eCLOSE experts via Zoom. The program focuses on uncovering the creativity and health-related viewpoints of the students themselves, and integrates them into a growing community of scientists focused on reducing the burden of disease through diet.
eCLOSE programs bring the lab to the learners! We ship all of the tools and materials needed for participants to set up their own @Home lab stations- and then the scientific journey begins!
eCLOSE Institute works with an amazing model organism: The Fruit Fly! Session participants will learn why this small insect is important in biomedical research and how it can be used to address questions about diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
Camp@Home programs will examine how diet impacts fruit fly development and analyze their very own data! Presentation Day is a highlight, where campers present their exciting results and conclusions to family friends and community at an end-of-week Zoom event.
In Level 1, participants will learn basic techniques used in labs around the world, while strengthening their hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills. Campers will work in collaborative break-out rooms and interact with scientist-science teacher instructors to learn more about how common foods can affect development of our model organism: The Fruit Fly! Included in this lab@home kit: plastic pipettes, digital balance, tube rack, and all of the materials needed to complete the junk food vs healthy food experiment.
Campers will build on what they learned in Flies are “Pheno”-menal- at more of a challenge-level. The focus will be to identify nutrients that affect cancer or diabetes signaling using the fruit fly model and consider potential impacts on human patients. Campers will complete more advanced techniques like solution-making and micropipetting! During this level, campers will put those hand-eye skills to the test as they move fruit flies to nap vials and learn how to put them to sleep for sorting.
Included in this lab@home kit: more pipettes, a pipet filler, a micro-tube rack and more tubes, a collection cage materials, and all of the materials needed to complete the nutritional supplement experiment. Some materials and equipment from Level 1 will be used again in Level 2 as you continue to build out your lab@home!!
Summer student scientists who complete Levels 1 and 2 will continue their work using The Fruit Fly, but this time at the macromolecular level! Have you wondered where biology and chemistry intersect? This is the lab@home for you! Techniques and protocols will focus on the effects that nutritional supplements have on fruit flies, but this time we will be doing “wet lab work on the bench”!
Included in the lab@home kit: pipette, tubes AND supplies needed to complete biochemistry experiments. Some materials and equipment from the previous two levels will be utilized in Level 3.
Note: Sessions may be combined depending on capacity.
Early research experiences promote success in STEM—in college and careers! eCLOSE Undergraduate Bridge helps students excel as college STEM majors and prepares them for work in research labs at universities and companies. All research conducted during eCLOSE Undergraduate Bridge is original and celebrates the many cultures and backgrounds of participants to begin to uncover new approaches to prevent and treat diseases that affect students’ families and communities.
eCLOSE Train@Home immerses undergraduates in laboratory-based research, providing the technical and conceptual skills to attack these important questions head on. As an eCLOSE Train@Home participant, you will conduct a genetic screen to identify nutrients or antiviral compounds that affect signals important for cancer, diabetes, or chronic pain. Using the results of the screen, you will develop hypotheses for WHY the nutrient or drug has an effect and design an experimental plan for determining the answers.
Don’t panic—expert eCLOSE Train@Home instructors will be with you the whole way, guiding you through the decision tree and supporting your development as a research scientist!
eCLOSE Train@Home is particularly interested in YOUR ideas, including the dietary interventions used in your family for disease prevention or treatment and the diseases that matter most to you. Projects will be conducted in collaboration with professional scientists, with the data you collect included in their ongoing cancer and disease research efforts.
High school graduates and undergraduates
Program dates (note that attendance at EVERY session is mandatory for participation):
Phase I: Boot Camp: June 27-July 1 from 10am-1pm EST
Phase II: Independent research: once a week on Thursday mornings 10am-1pm EST from July 7-August 4.
Phase III: Presentation Day: August 11