LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
On Monday, April 20, Dr. Carina Howell, assistant professor of biology at Lock Haven University, conducted a DNA lab at the John Yost Center, an afterschool program. The biology department coordinates an environmental learning program known as CAPE (Children Actively Protecting the Environment) at the center.
Biology major and AmeriCorps member Cody Bliss runs the program under the supervision of Biology faculty member Dr. Amy Kutay. Speaking on the DNA extraction lab, Dr Howell said that “In every molecular biology laboratory, scientists isolate DNA using chemicals. It's so simple that anyone can do it at home. All you need is soap, salt, alcohol and a source of DNA. Strawberries work really well because they have a lot of DNA in each cell.”
Reflecting on his experience in AmeriCorps and with the CAPE program, Bliss stated, “Having Dr. Howell attend CAPE to wrap up for the 2 years I have worked with the program was an amazing ending and opportunity for the kids as well as myself. After completing the strawberry DNA extraction experiment with the children, I said my goodbyes and assured them I would be back to visit. The entire program that day reminded me of how fortunate I have been to watch these kids grow intellectually and socially over the past years. I can only hope they realize how much they have affected my life as well.”
Ruth Nyman, the director of the Yost Center, stressed that "Cody did a wonderful job with CAPE. The program was very educational and fun for the children.”