Science Education Department

Science Discovery Lab

High school students working in the Science Discovery LabHow to Apply

Teachers and administrators can apply for a field trip to the Science Discovery Lab for the 2022-2023 school year.

About the Science Discovery Lab

Seattle Children’s Research Institute: Building Cure includes a next-generation science classroom, where students in grades 9–12 can do innovative curriculum in a state-of-the-art laboratory embedded in the research institute.

Teachers and administrators from all schools can apply for a half-day field trip with priority given to underserved schools. Field trips include a laboratory activity in the Science Discovery Lab and a tour of Building Cure, when possible.

  • Field trips are offered in the morning on weekdays and last approximately 3 hours. Availability is limited.
  • Students must be in grades 9-12.
  • A minimum of 18 students participating is required in order to reserve a date. The maximum capacity is 32 students.
  • Funding for transportation may be available upon request.
  • Teachers can select from several laboratory activities linked to immunotherapy, infectious diseases, or gene editing, including a protein assay, DNA fingerprinting, ELISA, isolation of white blood cells, agarose gel electrophoresis, or qPCR.
  • Signed permission slips are required for all students.
  • Attendees must be dressed appropriately to work in a laboratory, including ankle-length clothing and closed-toe shoes.
  • Attendees must adhere to current Seattle Children's guidelines, which may include wearing masks while on campus. Isolation masks will be provided if needed.

The curriculum meets the Next Generation Science Standards as well as state and national academic standards, and also incorporates current research methodologies and techniques with instruction from leading scientists and educators. Curriculum modules include:

Determining Protein Concentration With a Bradford Assay

Gloved hand handling scientific equipmentThis 90 to 120-minute module is appropriate for students in grades 9-12. Students will:

  • Learn about a laboratory technique called a Bradford Assay and how it is used to measure protein concentration.
  • Use a spectrophotometer and plot points on a graph to develop a standard curve.

Read the module overview and Next Generation Science Standards.

Investigations in Infectious Disease

Student in lab glasses using equipment in Science Discovery LabThis 90 to 120-minute module is appropriate for students in grades 9-12. Students will:

  • Learn about the fields of epidemiology and infectious diseases.
  • Use standard epidemiological techniques to investigate an outbreak of foodborne illness.
  • Use gel electrophoresis to perform a DNA fingerprinting experiment.

Read the module overview and Next Generation Science Standards.

Using ELISA to Evaluate Immune Responses

Students in lab glasses using equipment in Science Discovery LabThis 90 to 120-minute module is appropriate for students in grades 9-12. Students will:

  • Learn about Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA).
  • Use ELISA to detect the presence of antibodies in simulated patient samples using a color-changing result.

Read the module overview and Next Generation Science Standards.

Isolating White Blood Cells With Ficoll

Students in Science Discovery Lab looking through microscopeThis 90 to 120-minute module is appropriate for students in grades 11-12. Students will:

  • Learn about CAR T-cell immunotherapy and emerging cancer therapies.
  • Use Ficoll separation to isolate white blood cells.
  • Use a microscope to determine white blood cell concentration.

Read the module overview and Next Generation Science Standards.

Using Gene Editing to Express Proteins in Bacteria

Smiling student in lab gear holding test tubeThis 90 to 120-minute module is appropriate for students in grades 11-12. Students will:

  • Learn how gene editing is used to express proteins in bacteria to create insulin therapies for patients with type I diabetes.
  • Use gel electrophoresis to visualize engineered gene products.

Read the module overview and Next Generation Science Standards.

Using Quantitative PCR to Test for COVID-19

A machine that tests for COVID-19This 90 to 120-minute module is appropriate for students in grades 11-12. Students will:

  • Learn about Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) and its applications in biomedical research and healthcare.
  • Perform qPCR and explore its use in detection of SARS-CoV-2 in simulated patient samples using fluorescence.

Read the module overview and Next Generation Science Standards.

Contact Us

For more information, please email the Science Education Department.

Seattle Children’s thanks Microsoft for supporting activities in the Science Discovery Lab.