Students practice pipetting into a gel


Fish Fraud Forensics: A Piscatological CSI for Teens

Gloucester Biotechnology Academy launches SummerSTEM program

Gloucester Biotechnology Academy expanded its programs for high school and middle school students with launch of SummerSTEM. A total of 49 students enrolled in the pilot course and the three one-week sessions. While most students were from Cape Ann, we also had students from Minnesota, Virginia, New York, Sherborn and Nicaragua.

Fish Fraud Forensics was adapted from our innovative vocational program where students learn genuine biotech methods used by technicians in modern labs.

Students assumed the role of forensic scientists, tasked with investigating fish served in a fictional seafood restaurant rumored to be swapping out cod with haddock. To solve the problem, students worked with unknown fish samples and performed DNA extraction, PCR amplification using primers, and gel electrophoresis. By Friday each student had the satisfaction of identifying the correct fish species using authentic biotech techniques -- a true CSI investigation!

The students expressed great enthusiasm for their science lab experience.

“My favorite part of the course was when we extracted the DNA. I felt like a real scientist!”

“This was an amazing experience and I loved doing the experiments with all the real equipment in the lab.”

Now a permanent part of the SummerSTEM curriculum, Fish Fraud Forensics will be offered next summer along with a new summer course. Please follow our website for the Summer STEM course offerings.

Steve Connolly Seafood Company, Gloucester

Week 2 of SummerSTEM: Fish Fraud Forensics

Our mission is to conduct world-class marine biotechnology research which expands the regional economy.

Gloucester Marine
Genomics Institute

417 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

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