Harlem DNA Lab skyline
A collaboration of the New York City Department of Education and the Dolan DNA Learning Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


High School Lab Field Trips

High schools throughout New York City are invited to the Harlem DNA Lab for half-day lab field trips. Each lab is inspired by techniques and tools currently in use by research scientists.


Teacher Professional Development

With funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the teacher professional development program will reach 820 New York City science faculty over five years.


ONLINE REGISTRATION for all Harlem DNA Lab Summer Camps is at the DNALC Summer Camps Website

Summer Workshop Programs
at the Harlem DNA Lab

The Dolan DNA Learning Center “invented” DNA camps in 1985, and since then over 8,300 students have participated.

A recent survey of 800 DNA camp alumni, now in high school or college, confirmed that camp participation is one thing parents can give their child to boost interest in science and technology. A majority of former campers said that participation had increased their general interest in science, increased their understanding of science stories in the media, encouraged them to take more science offerings in school, and improved their confidence in subsequent science classes in high school and college. Camp participation significantly improved girls’ confidence in science labs, an area where experts believe girls have traditionally been reticent.

In summer 2010, we are offering fun and challenging camps at the Harlem DNA Lab for science enthusiasts in New York City. Guided by experienced instructors, students will use sophisticated laboratory and computer equipment to perform experiments several grade levels ahead of their peers.

Fun with DNA (entering grade 6 or 7)

June 21-25

Fun with DNA is an entry-level course in DNA science. This camp is designed especially for highly motivated students interested in expanding their knowledge of basic genetics and cell biology. Students are immersed in an environment of hands on activities and laboratory experiments designed to increase genetic literacy, encourage critical and creative thinking, and spark interest in the field of biotechnology.

Students will:

- Construct cell and DNA models
- Use compound microscopes to view various cell types
- Extract DNA from both bacteria and plants
- Use stereo microscopes to observe mutations in fruit flies
- Genetically engineer bacteria cells with firefly genes

Acceptance is limited to 28 students per camp. Fun with DNA is for students entering grade 6 or 7. Fun with DNA is a prerequisite for World of Enzymes.

Tuition is $375 and includes all materials. Fun with DNA runs Monday-Thursday 9:30-2:30, and Parent Participation Day is Friday 9:30-11:30.


DNA Science (entering grades 10-12)

June 14-18

DNA Science
introduces high school and college students with little or no research experience in molecular genetics to the elegant tools of modern biotechnology, and is centered around laboratory work. Each experiment acts as a stepping stone for the next.

Students will:

- Examine bacterial growth curves using the E.coli genetic system.

- Evaluate the difference between the rapid and classical method of bacterial transformation by calculating transformation efficiencies plasmids.
- Perform a restriction analysis and gel electrophoresis, then graph the results to understand COS sites.
- Digest plasmids with restriction enzymes, ligate the fragments together, then transform the recombinant-DNA, and finally perform a plasmid minipreparation of the new recombinant to identify how it originally ligated.

Acceptance is competitive and limited to 28 participants per session.

Tuition is $450 and includes all materials. DNA Science runs from 9:30 AM until 4:00 PM Monday-Thursday, and 9:30 AM until 2:00 PM on Friday.

Lab equipment