By Ellen Burgess
Boston University’s interactive student program, “Citylab,” visited the biology classes to aid students in hands-on lab experiments.
From Feb. 7-11 the Citylab bus came loaded with the equipment necessary for the experimental lab students would be performing. The bus remained parked in the teacher parking lot for the duration of the week.
“Citylab’s purpose was to enhance the bio curriculum by providing hands-on experience in biotechnology,” high school biology teacher Dr. Maria Burgess said.
“Citylab can also offer our students the opportunity to perform high-end bio tech labs,” science department chair Erica Everett said.
According to Burgess, students from the CP level to the AP level classes participated in the event, although performing different labs. The sophomore biology classes studied hemoglobin protein structure, a protein that carries oxygen in the red blood cells of vertebrates, while the AP students studied gel electrophoresis, a process used to compare the size of different strands of DNA.
“We had specific goals. For the AP students, we performed a lab important for the AP exam, and for sophomores we did an electrophoresis lab involving sickle hemoglobin and normal hemoglobin,” Everett said.
This year was the sophomores’ first time attending Citylab; however, AP students attended the lab while sophomores, resulting this year in their second time in the environment.
“I did the same lab last year in Boston, and doing it again was interesting since it was in a bus that still had all the equipment necessary. Though it was the same, it felt new and different since it was in a different location,” AP Biology student junior Jeffrey White said.
“I would say it was pretty cool that we got to use real samples from people with anemia,” sophomore student Kurt Statz-Geary said.