The Southern Research campus in Birmingham, AL is undergoing major renovations and construction to better champion Birmingham's biotech ecosystem and better serve the greater Alabama community. While our STEM Education Outreach Center is closed, our staff will be out on the road to engage your students in hands-on experiments and STEM experiences with real-world applications from the comfort of their own classrooms.
Provide your students with an opportunity to engage in critical thinking and problem-solving while exploring the cutting-edge work conducted by Southern Research scientists, all from your very own classroom. Our STEM Education Outreach team will bring everything you need for your students to take a 90 minute, hands-on scientific journey into a topic that aligns with the Alabama Course of Study and exposes them to careers in STEM.
Requests for in-school field trip experiences for fall 2023 are completely booked! Please click the link below to join our waitlist. Requests for spring 2024 will open on November 1.Join our In-School Field Trip Waitlist!
Students will be introduced to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and how it can be used to diagnose disease. Students will participate in a hands-on activity to model the steps of PCR and how it can be used to detect and amplify specific genetic sequences, including genetic mutations. Students will be given ready-to-load DNA samples from patients interested in finding out their disease status for Cystic Fibrosis. After analyzing the gel, students will be tasked with building a family pedigree to illustrate their findings and to also predict the disease state of other family members. *Full experience is 90 minutes.
Students will be introduced to a family interested in finding out whether their child has the disease, Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Students will use gel electrophoresis to detect a mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene and determine if the individuals do or do not have the disease or if they are a carrier for CF. Following the diagnosis, students will learn about the Central Dogma of biology and its role in individuals who have Cystic Fibrosis. Through a hands-on activity, students will transcribe, translate, and synthesize the CFTR protein – a critical chloride protein channel. They will then use the 3D protein models to discuss how a mutation in the CFTR gene can result in improper protein function, which results in the key symptoms seen in those with CF. *Full experience is 90 minutes but can be split into two 45-minute sessions across two days for those on 50-minute period schedules.
Students will learn about the inheritance of traits through a hands-on activity where they will use information from alleles to “build” their very own science lab(rador retriever). They will then use Punnett squares to illustrate how traits are passed from parents to offspring and determine if the traits are dominant, recessive, etc. Students will then engage in an experiment to determine if they can taste phenylthiocarbamide (PTC). Students will use data analysis to determine the phenotypic and genotypic ratios of their class and participate in a discussion about genetic mutations. *Full experience is 90 minutes but can be split into two 45-minute sessions across two days for those on 50-minute period schedules.
We provide in-school field trip experiences for 6th – 12th grade students. For K-5 student experiences, please check out our Elementary Outreach page!
Please fill out the request form and you will receive a confirmation email from our STEM team on September 1, 2023. Please note this form is a request for that date and in-school field trip experience, and it does not lock in your reservation until you receive official confirmation from our STEM team.
Our funding enables us to serve the entire state of Alabama, thus we must limit in-school field trip requests to one request per teacher per year. You may submit additional requests for other subjects that we can put on our waitlist, and if we have availability, we will reach out to you.
Please take a look at our calendar under In-School Field Trip Experiences. The calendar lists all open and available dates for in-school field trips.
All Southern Research in-school field trips are free! These opportunities are made possible through support from the State of Alabama.
We can serve a class size of 32 students, and we can serve multiple class periods of the same subject within the same visit (e.g., we can do activities with 4 classes of biology students).
We've designed these activities to fit within a 45-minute or 90-minute class period. We will use your school's class schedule to determine the start and end of each session with your students (e.g., 2nd period - 8:55-9:45 AM).
Yes! We strongly encourage you to take photos and videos. Please tag us @SRSTEMOutreach on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
In the event you must cancel your in-school field trip, please contact us no later than 48 hours prior to our visit. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to cancel your in-school field trip, with the subject line: In-School Field Trip Cancellation.
In the event of severe weather, our top priority is the safety of you, your students, and our staff. Please let us know as soon as possible if you need to cancel due to severe weather. We will do our best to reschedule your in-school field trip, pending availability. Please contact email@example.com to cancel your in-school field trip, with the subject line: In-School Field Trip Cancellation.
Our in-school field trips are led by the experienced members of our STEM Education Outreach team, Dr. Kathryn Lanier, Dr. Liz Johnson, Ms. Molly Langston, Mr. Shon Essex, and our pre-service educator fellows.
We will provide all the necessary supplies, materials, and content for your students to successfully participate in all activities. At most, we will need something to display a PowerPoint presentation and access to electrical outlets for lab equipment.
If you don't see an in-school field trip experience that fits your class, don't despair! Please check back in spring 2024 for new in-school field trip offerings. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.