Wide view of students and their instructor in a DNALC lab classroom doing a science experiment

School Break Bio! Sessions

Do you miss school already? Come for hands-on science without the homework!

Join us for exciting new School Break Bio! sessions!
Eventbrite is used for registration and payment.

  • All seats in every session must be reserved using Eventbrite. We do not accept walk-ins.
  • Five-hour sessions are $50.00 per person, per session plus Eventbrite registration fee.
  • Two-hour sessions are $25.00 per person, per session plus Eventbrite registration fee.
  • The sessions are held at Cold Spring Harbor, Brooklyn, and Sleepy Hollow. Please check the location when registering for sessions.
    • Dolan DNA Learning Center at 334 Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
    • DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech at 62 Tillary Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201*
    • Regeneron DNA Learning Center at 1 Rockwood Road, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 [No sessions scheduled at this time.]
  • The name and email address of each ticket purchaser must be included on your Eventbrite registration. We will not honor reservations that fail to provide this information. If you do not provide this information, your reservation will be cancelled and your registration fee will be refunded.
  • Seats for each session are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Face masks are optional.

* DNALC NYC at City Tech only: Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, City Tech policy is that all visitors 18 or older must show proof of full vaccination (defined as two weeks after the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two weeks after the two-shot Moderna or Pfizer vaccine) in order to enter the building. Adults who are not fully vaccinated must have a negative COVID PCR test performed within 7 days of the event date in order to attend—no exceptions will be made. COVID documentation, along with a photo ID, must be shown to City Tech Security when you arrive.

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New Saturday DNA! sessions also available.     Learn More

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Science Detectives: Use Forensic Techniques to Solve a Crime!

circular icon with drawing of the Brooklyn Bridge near DNA Learning Center NYC

In-person in Brooklyn, NY
DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech

Ages 10–13, no adult chaperone required. Participants must bring a bag lunch

Join us to learn how crimes are solved using forensic techniques!

Do you love watching crime shows like Criminal Minds or Law and Order? Do you listen to true crime podcasts? Join us to learn some common forensic techniques and use these skills to solve a crime.

In this session, participants will:

  • dust for fingerprints at a crime scene;
  • perform DNA Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) analysis, including DNA digest and agarose gel electrophoresis; and
  • solve a crime by interpreting and combining DNA and fingerprint analysis data.

*Scholarships are available for students with a financial need. To request a scholarship, please email dnalc@cshl.edu with the student’s name and which session they would like to attend.

Details:

  • Wednesday, February 22, 2023
  • 10:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. EST
  • Appropriate for ages 10–13
  • $50 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech
    62 Tillary St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Directions

Register on Eventbrite

Crime scene body outline with chair and knif on the floor

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

GMO Analysis: Is My Snack Genetically Modified?

circular icon with drawing of the Brooklyn Bridge near DNA Learning Center NYC

In-person in Brooklyn, NY
DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech

Ages 14–17; participants must bring a bag lunch

Do you know what's REALLY in your food? Join us to learn how to detect genetic modifications in common snacks!

Genetic modification has allowed scientists to create herbicide resistant, drought tolerant, and insect resistant crops. These modifications have increased the output of croplands, but they are not without controversy. In this activity we will discuss the history of genetically modified food, and use DNA analysis to determine if some common snacks have been genetically modified. Participants are encouraged to bring in snacks of their own to analyze!

In this session, participants will:

  • isolate DNA from snack foods;
  • use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect the presence of a DNA marker for genetic modification; and
  • perform agarose gel electrophoresis to visualize DNA and determine if snacks are genetically modified.

*Scholarships are available for students with a financial need. To request a scholarship, please email dnalc@cshl.edu with the student’s name and which session they would like to attend.

Details:

  • Wednesday, February 22, 2023
  • 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. EST
  • Appropriate for ages 14–17
  • $50 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech
    62 Tillary St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Directions

Register on Eventbrite

DNA sequence with A, T, C, and G and Corn fiel

Friday, February 24, 2023

Infectious Diseases

circular icon with drawing of the Brooklyn Bridge near DNA Learning Center NYC

In-person in Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Dolan DNA Learning Center

Ages 10–13

Bacteria have inhabited our planet longer than any other life form, and live almost everywhere on Earth! Humans rely on bacteria for their health and wellbeing, but there are a small fraction of bacterial species that are pathogenic to humans. Join us to investigate how we have learned to combat infectious bacteria over the last century.

In this session, participants will:

  • learn about the history of antibiotics and how they work;
  • how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics;
  • observe the effect of two antibiotics on two different strains of bacteria; and
  • explore alternative methods to treating bacterial infections, one being viruses!

Details:

  • Friday, February 24, 2023
  • 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EST
  • Appropriate for ages 10–13
  • $25 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • Dolan DNA Learning Center
    334 Main St, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
  • Directions

Register on Eventbrite

graphic of 4 blue e.coli bacteria encasing DNA with circular palsmid rings around them

Monday, April 10, 2023

Fresh Fruit DNA Extraction

circular icon with drawing of the Brooklyn Bridge near DNA Learning Center NYC

In-person in Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Dolan DNA Learning Center

Ages 10–13

DNA is a molecule inside the cells of all living things, including things we eat! In this lab students will follow a simple procedure to extract DNA from strawberries and bananas. Upon completion, they will have a visible DNA sample that can be collected and preserved.

In this session, participants will:

  • review the structure of plant cells;
  • follow a simple lab procedure;
  • explain how DNA can be visible without a microscope; and
  • collect DNA and make a keepsake necklace.

Details:

  • Monday, April 10, 2023
  • 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EST
  • Appropriate for ages 10–13
  • $25 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • Dolan DNA Learning Center
    334 Main St, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
  • Directions

Register on Eventbrite

Close up of test tube containing red liquid in front of person wearing a blue shirt

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Dust Away Crime

circular icon with drawing of the Brooklyn Bridge near DNA Learning Center NYC

In-person in Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Dolan DNA Learning Center

Ages 13–16

In the late 1800’s, anthropologist Francis Galton established that the microscopic ridges and valleys on the pads of our fingers make uniquely identifiable patterns. In the early 1900’s, scientists and criminologists began to realize that fingerprints could be used in criminal investigation, linking evidence to suspects.  In these labs, learn more about fingerprint collection, differentiation and analysis.

Students will:

  • learn about the history of fingerprint analysis in forensics;
  • explore the general classifications of different patent (visible) prints;
  • analyze their own fingerprint minutiae;
  • lift and analyze fingerprints from surfaces; and
  • apply their fingerprint analysis skills to solve a “mystery”.

Details:

  • Wednesday, April 12, 2023
  • 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EST
  • Appropriate for ages 13–16
  • $25 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • Dolan DNA Learning Center
    334 Main St, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
  • Directions

Register on Eventbrite

full handprint ink transfer

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Ötzi the Iceman: A Museum Tour and Interactive Laboratory Experience

circular icon with drawing of the Brooklyn Bridge near DNA Learning Center NYC

In-person in Brooklyn, NY
DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech

Ages 10–13, no adult chaperone required. Participants must bring a bag lunch

Join us to learn about a Copper Age mystery!

In the fall of 1991, two hikers in the Ötztal Alps came upon the mummified remains of a 5,300 year old man. Now preserved in a climate-controlled freezer at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, Ötzi's body and accompanying artifacts provide a window into life in Europe during the Copper Age. The mummy also provided a number of medical surprises. Although we think of Lyme disease as a new phenomenon that originated in Connecticut, Ötzi was infected with the Lyme disease microbe. His diet was filled with unprocessed, natural foods, yet he suffered from atherosclerosis. Most mysteriously, Ötzi died from an arrow shot to the back—his murderer had followed him up to the 10,200-foot pass where his body was found. How do scientists know all of these things? Join us to explore some of the interesting forensic techniques that have been used to understand more about the Iceman’s life and death.

In this session, participants will:

  • take a guided tour of the DNALC NYC Ötzi exhibit;
  • extract DNA from wheat germ and discuss how this can be applied to studying ancient humans;
  • examine hair fibers from Ötzi’s belongings to identify what his clothing and some artifacts were made of; and
  • discover where Ötzi was over the last days of his life by examining pollen from his digestive system.

*Scholarships are available for students with a financial need. To request a scholarship, please email dnalc@cshl.edu with the student’s name and which session they would like to attend.

Details:

  • Wednesday, April 12, 2023
  • 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. EST
  • Appropriate for ages 10–13
  • $50 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech
    62 Tillary St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Directions

Register on Eventbrite

Ötzi the Iceman portion of the  DNALC NYC at City Tech, Brooklyn exhibition, including exhibition labels, life-sized imagined Ötzi mannequin, and replica mummy

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

DNA Barcoding: Using DNA to Study Species Biodiversity and Ecology

circular icon with drawing of the Brooklyn Bridge near DNA Learning Center NYC

In-person in Brooklyn, NY
DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech

Ages 14–17. Participants must bring a bag lunch

Join us to learn how DNA barcoding can tell us about the world around us!

A DNA barcode is a short sequence of DNA that is used to identify living things. DNA barcoding can be used to study ecology, human impacts on the environment, food fraud, and much more. In this lab activity participants will first learn the process of extracting DNA from plants or small invertebrates. Then they will amplify the DNA barcode using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and learn how to analyze sequencing results that will be received a few days after the lesson. Participants are invited to attend a follow up session on Zoom, to discuss their results.

In this session, participants will:

  • isolate DNA from plants, ants, or marine invertebrates;
  • use PCR to amplify DNA for the barcode region;
  • perform agarose gel electrophoresis to visualize DNA;
  • learn to use online bioinformatic tools for DNA sequence analysis; and
  • have the opportunity to discuss results with an educator via Zoom after DNA sequencing results are returned.

*Scholarships are available for students with a financial need. To request a scholarship, please email dnalc@cshl.edu with the student’s name and which session they would like to attend.

Details:

  • Wednesday, April 12, 2023
  • 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. EST
  • Appropriate for ages 14–17
  • $50 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech
    62 Tillary St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Directions

Register on Eventbrite

DNA double helix

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Forensic DNA Fingerprint

circular icon with drawing of the Brooklyn Bridge near DNA Learning Center NYC

In-person in Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Dolan DNA Learning Center

Ages 13–16

Human DNA is more alike than different, so how do we find the differences? Restriction enzymes are proteins that recognize specific DNA sequences and can be used to determine whether a particular DNA sequence is present. In this lab, DNA from “evidence” and “suspects” will be compared using restriction enzyme digest and agarose gel electrophoresis. DNA analysis will then be combined with crime scene data to draw conclusions about each suspect.

Students will:

  • learn about restriction enzymes;
  • observe how agarose gel electrophoresis is used to produce a DNA fingerprint;
  • compare DNA fingerprints from “evidence” and “suspects”; and
  • determine who left their DNA at a “crime scene”.

Details:

  • Thursday, April 13, 2023
  • 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EST
  • Appropriate for ages 13–16
  • $25 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • Dolan DNA Learning Center
    334 Main St, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
  • Directions

Register on Eventbrite

DNA fingerprint shown as white horizontal lines arranged in columns over a dark background with faded fingerprint graphic.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Mystery of the Iceman

circular icon with drawing of the Brooklyn Bridge near DNA Learning Center NYC

In-person in Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Dolan DNA Learning Center

Ages 10–13

In the fall of 1991, two hikers in the Ötzal Alps came upon the mummified remains of a 5,300-year-old man. Now preserved in a climate-controlled freezer at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, Ötzi's body and accompanying artifacts provide a window into life in Europe during the Copper Age. The DNALC worked with the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology to make a 3D replica of the Ötzi the Iceman mummy that is now installed in the exhibit at the DNALC in Cold Spring Harbor. Learn how forensic scientists analyze materials to understand ancient life and then use these techniques to examine Ötzi the Iceman’s clothes and gear. Using microscopes to analyze fabric, hair, and fur from different animals, identify which materials the Iceman sourced for his Neolithic wardrobe and toolkit.

Students will:

  • tour the Ötzi the Iceman exhibition;
  • learn about Ötzi’s microbiome, medical and genetic history, and untimely death;
  • use compound microscopes to view and identify hair types found on some of Ötzi’s clothes and gear;
  • interpret class data to draw conclusions about the origin of Ötzi’s clothing.

Details:

  • Friday, April 14, 2023
  • 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EST
  • Appropriate for ages 10–13
  • $25 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • Dolan DNA Learning Center
    334 Main St, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
  • Directions

Register on Eventbrite

View of DNALC museum exhbition including Ötzi the  Iceman mummy in a glass case, a video screen and exhibition labels on a backdrop image of snowy mountains.