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Applications in Spectrophotometry
The hands-on labs on this Bowdoin College website make a broad range of science concepts not usually explored in the lab setting concrete and visible to high school students. The labs require a spectrophotometer, an instrument that measures the wavelength of light. The labs, developed at Bowdoin College's summer workshops for Maine high school teachers, focus on inquiry and problem solving, with additional emphasis placed on data analysis, graphing, and experimental design. They employ spectrophotometry in a broad range of biology and biotechnology applications: to identify food dyes, perform protein assays of milk and protein drinks, test for rates of photosynthesis, use enzyme preparations to break down complex sugars, and measure the growth of bacterial culture.
Program Director: Patsy S. Dickinson, Ph.D.
Award Years: 1993, 2000. 2004, 2008
Summary: Bowdoin College is a private baccalaureate institution in Brunswick, Maine. It HHMI-funded initiatives include:
- A restructured introductory biology curriculum that provides students with additional laboratory experiences;
- A BioMath workshop, which included faculty from three colleges and resulted in immediate changes in several courses as well as in plans to revise other courses;
- An expanded retention program, the Bowdoin Science Experience, which gives students underrepresented in science the chance to participate in group building-activities, solve realistic problems and do laboratory work in small groups; and
- Applications in Spectrophotometry, an annual five-day summer workshop for Maine high school science teachers, which allows participants to review the principles of spectrophotometric analysis and test potential experiments for classroom use.