Part of the SIU Bridges program's partnership with the local community colleges is to engage students in CURE activities within their community college classrooms. CURE is an acronym for Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience.
We have ran two successful CUREs: A fish barcoding experiment at JALC and a handsanitizer effectiveness experiment at SCC.
SCC students tested popular brands of hand sanitizers against each other to determine which is the most effective in killing bacteria. Students cultured different strains of bacteria on plates with wells infused with their hand sanitizer of choice with a control well filled with water. Students learned microbiology skills and basic statistic skills to analyze their data.
JALC students test fish entrees from various fast food chains to confirm that the fish being advertised was indeed the fish customers were eating. Students accomplished this using molecular techniques to barcode fish DNA extracted from the various fast food meals. Students engaged in the full process of DNA extraction, DNA replication using PCR, dna confirmation using gel electrophoresis, and genetic observation using bioinformatics.