On March the 23rd-25th, 2018, the grade 11 biology and chemistry students traveled to the Institute of Molecular Biosciences at Mahidol University for a 3-day stay. You might be wondering, even DP students still have field trips? Well, I have to say this wasn’t any ordinary field trip. We went to Mahidol University to learn more about molecular biology and genetic engineering!
What did we do specifically, while we stayed at the university? We dived straight into lectures and hardcore lab sessions straight away! On the first day of the trip, we had the opportunity to attend lectures on DNA cloning, laboratory safety, and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) led by professors of the university. Although I personally found the some of the information difficult to absorb and understand quickly, we were lucky enough to be able to review the material together as a class afterward.
In total, we participated in about 10 lab sessions, some of which consisted of DNA amplification by PCR, DNA extraction, agarose gel electrophoresis, plasmid DNA extraction, selection of bacterial colonies, and more. The lab sessions were my favorite part of the trip since it was all about a hands-on experience to experiment with DNA. Another cool thing about the labs was that we each got to wear a lab coat and safety glasses, and I felt like I was a real scientist! 😀
In short, this was a great trip for us grade 11 students to expand our knowledge about DNA and biology in general. Most importantly, we gained important lab skills and got the chance to learn how to use different kinds of lab equipment.
Good luck to those who may be taking the trip sometime in the future! And have fun!