High school students converge on URI -SMILE Challenge Weekend, Mar. 5-6

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Student teams work on challenging biotech laboratory activities

WHO: 100 high school students from the SMILE program (Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences) from Central Falls, Coventry, North Kingstown, Pawtucket, South Kingstown, West Warwick and Woonsocket, along with 35 mentors from Amgen and 20 URI student mentors.

WHAT: Challenge Weekend provides students with opportunities to work together in diverse teams to address challenging scientific problems. This year, SMILE students will work on recombinant DNA and protein expression, cutting plasmid DNA, running electrophoresis, transforming E.coli cells, and purifying a red fluorescent protein. With guidance from Amgen and URI mentors, the students will use the same high-tech equipment and techniques used in professional laboratories.

WHEN: Friday, March 5 and Saturday, March 6. The lab activities will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

WHERE: The Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences, 120 Flagg Rd., on the URI Kingston campus. Students will be in labs 4 and 5 on Friday and lab 7 on Saturday.

CONTACT: For additional information, contact Todd McLeish in the URI Department of Communications and Marketing at 401-874-2116, or call SMILE coordinators Carol Englander at 374-1239 or Gabriela Lizano at 218-8623.