Middle School

The Baxter Symposium

Spring 2020


New date for the 11/8 Baxter Symposium coming soon!

Dear Friends, 

Based on the advice of our partners and stakeholders, particularly the teachers that we serve, we have collectively decided to postpone the November 8th Baxter Symposium. We understand that as teachers return to the classroom there will be a lot of demands on their time. We want to be respectful of that time, and we want to celebrate their achievements and our anniversary with them when the time is right. Stay tuned for a new date for the Symposium in the spring. We hope to see you there!


The Baxter Center Team



The Baxter Symposium is an event designed to excite and inspire teachers to bring cutting-edge life science activities to their classrooms. We accomplish this by providing a day of real-world science and hands-on lab activities that show life sciences in the 21st century are exciting and amazing!

Attendees will have the chance to:

  • Connect with scientists and hear about their cutting-edge research.
  • Try out hands-on, NGSS-aligned curriculum modules led by educators who have successfully used them in their classrooms.
  • Attend a free event for high school & middle school teachers.
  • Receive FREE lab materials for all attendees!
  • Enter lab equipment give-aways!
  • Earn 6 CPDUs.


Genetically Modified Soybean Lab

Can you tell the difference between a traditional plant and one that has been genetically modified? Do their seeds look different? Do they germinate and develop differently? Do they respond differently to their environment? Learn the answer to these and other questions concerning the topical subject of genetically modified plants. Your students will gain key insight into this controversial, emerging science as they compare traditional soybeans with seeds that have been genetically modified to withstand the effects of Roundup (TM) herbicide.

Simulated Blood Typing Lab

Using four different samples of WARD’S Simulated Blood, the class will determine each unknown sample’s blood type and Rh factor, examine the risk of Rh incompatibilities, and view red and white “blood cells” under the microscope in complete safety. It includes four simulated blood types (A, B, AB, O), two anti-sera (A, B), Rh antisera, a teacher’s guide, and student copymaster. Enough materials for 12 setups are included.

Outbreak! Fingerprinting Virus DNA Kit

This intermediate-level 8-station kit introduces the concepts of PCR and DNA fingerprinting and simulates the use of DNA in forensic investigations. The "DNA" fingerprints of 2 suspects are compared at 2 loci for a match with evidence DNA after being electrophoresed in agarose gels and stained with CarolinaBLU(tm) stain. Also buy the kit's predigested DNA in bulk by the mL; minimum order is 1 mL. Order bulk DNA 2 weeks prior to desired ship date. For 8 groups of students.

Restriction Enzyme Cleavage of DNA Kit

It's easy to teach students the basics of DNA gel electrophoresis and analysis with this classic AP(r) Biology lab. Using convenient pre-cut fragments, students electrophorese, stain, and visualize uncut lambda DNA (control) and DNA predigested with EcoRI and HindIII (standard molecular weight marker). They then determine the sizes of the DNA fragments. Materials are sufficient for 4 or 8 teams of students or 8 separate instructor demonstrations.

Body Builders: The Emergence of Regenerative Medicine

May 22, 2014

Can you imagine a medical practice where the focus is helping the body to heal itself using stem cells, or where diseased organs are replaced by an organ grown from a patient's own cells? These ideas might seem like science fiction, but current regenerative medicine research is nearing a point where these procedures are close to implementation. Some scientists suggest that the practice will become a reality within five to ten years.

View the webinar recording here.

Decision Dilemma

In this activity, students will meet two patients and their families. Each patient has just received a cancer diagnosis. Students will meet with the patient navigator and discuss the fertility preservation options that are available for each of the three cases. Finally in part 3, they will make a decision about the patients' course of treatment and fertility preservation options.

Just Bead It Biomaterials Lab

In this series of experiments, you'll begin to explore the world of oncofertility research that is taking place at Northwestern University. The team consists of research scientists, biomedical engineers, graduate students, and many others. They are working to develop a system that will allow men and women who are diagnosed with cancer to potentially preserve their fertility. The team is working to achieve this for women by performing experiments to help follicles (containing mature egg cells) to develop in vitro.