Course Components

FUNDAMENTAL CONTENT: Students will learn the necessary background information for each course

JOURNAL CLUB: Students will learn to properly read research papers in their field and understand the process of publishing

RESEARCH SKILLS: Students will apply their knowledge and learn specific research skills for their topic (listed below)

GUEST SPEAKERS: Students will have the opportunity to hear from several accomplished professional researchers

Research Skills Taught

Biology

  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

  • DNA Extraction

  • DNA Sequencing

  • Restriction Enzyme Digestion

  • RNA Sequencing

  • Immunofluorescent Staining

  • CRISPR/Cas9

  • Transgenic Animal Models

  • Protein Extraction and Fractionation

  • Western Blotting

Math & Physics

  • Computer Programming

  • Data Analysis

  • Statistical Analysis

  • Experimental Research Methods

  • Reading and Understanding Academic Papers

  • Performing a Literature Review

  • Formulating Testable Research Questions

Social Science

  • Determining Construct validity

  • Determining Internal validity

  • Determining External validity

  • Reading and understanding Academic Papers

  • Performing Literature reviews

  • Formulating a research question

  • Identifying independent variables

  • Identifying dependent variables

  • Identifying confounding factors

  • Understanding the building blocks of a Social Sciences Research Paper

  • Understanding the various fields of social science research

  • Connecting research to modern-day issues

Test Tubes

Biology

How do scientists discover the underlying genetic mutations that are associated with various diseases? Do you wonder how the understanding of DNA replication allows scientists to manipulate the human genome? In the PCRi Biology course, students will learn how scientists answer these revolutionary questions. This course will introduce high school students to the basics of biological research with a particular focus on molecular biology and genetics.

 

We will provide students with a foundational understanding of the central dogma, and introduce them to routinely used experimental techniques in biological research, including PCR, Western blotting, and CRISPR. Over the course of six weeks, students will collaborate with their peers to analyze primary scientific literature, apply their knowledge of research tools to answer real-world biological questions, and interact with leading principal investigators and graduate students to explore the vast career opportunities that research has to offer. By the end of this course, students will have gained the professional skills necessary to work confidently in laboratory settings. Students will join a diverse community of future scientists to explore their individual interests and prepare them to enter the realm of research.

Holding a Book

Social Sciences

Over the course of the program, students in the social sciences will engage with the breadth of the field and learn about how research in the social sciences happens. Students will participate in a number of courses and exercises designed to demonstrate and elucidate the methods and practices involved in a social sciences research project, including how to read and analyze academic literature, how to create a research question, how to begin a research proposal, and ultimately how to create a social sciences research project.

 

Additionally, students will take specialized courses about history, political science, international relations, and linguistics, among other fields normally not taught within high school in order to show students all of the possibilities that social sciences as a field has to offer. At the end of the program, students will have simultaneously expanded their breadth of knowledge and learned how to confidently enter the world of social sciences research.

Holding a Book
Newton's Pendulum

Math & Physics

Science is inherently interdisciplinary. You will often find biologists collaborating with physicists and engineers to develop the next generation of medical technology. Similarly computer scientists, physicists, mathematicians and engineers are currently working to develop the next generation of data and information processing. Understanding the math and physics behind the latest scientific developments is paramount to refining and developing new technologies.

 

In the Math/Physics PCRi course you will learn about the scientific method and how to characterize and develop experiments through various lenses. We will study topics from fields such as biophysics, topology, complex dynamics, computer programming, and optics. We hope to provide you with foundational research skills and mentorship from undergraduate and graduate students.