Engineering classes at Trinity Hall allow students to explore an array of engineering fields and ideas and often integrate concepts from other courses. While the juniors were learning about DNA and genetics in their biology class, they applied their biology knowledge to their current engineering project. Through manipulating the DNA of bacteria cells and cloning genes, the juniors created colorful “living paint” to create artwork on a petri dish.
In this project, the students learned about the common biotechnology processes involved in the cloning of a gene such as DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), gel electrophoresis and transformation in order to grow colorful bacteria, or “living paint.” After the completion of these processes, the juniors left their manipulated cells on an agar plate overnight for their “paint” to grow. They then created works of art on their agar petri dishes including flowers, sunsets and animals with some even glowing in fluorescent light. This project highlighted the interdisciplinary nature of STEM concepts, encouraging students to make connections between their classes.