Teen detectives to dig for biological clues, solve mysteries

Move over Poirot, Inspector Morse and Miss Marple. A new class of modern-day detectives is in the making with the latest technology and tools for unearthing evidence.

Incoming seventh- through 12th-graders are invited to learn how to use laboratory equipment, extract and analyze DNA, solve a mock crime scene and develop other scientific skills at the upcoming DNA, Genetics & Forensics Camp offered by the University of Houston-Victoria this summer in two locations.

Richard Gunasekera
Richard Gunasekera

The camps are ideal for students interested in pursuing science-based careers such as those of physicians, forensic scientists and biologists, said Richard Gunasekera, a UHV associate professor of biology who is in charge of the camp.

“The camp provides a rare opportunity for junior high and high school students interested in biomedical sciences to step into the university setting and get hands-on experience in a real laboratory where cancer and genetics research is done,” Gunasekera said.

The camp will be offered twice this summer:

  • July 12-15 – The first camp will be from 1-4 p.m. in the Biology Lab in the UHV University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. in Victoria. The registration deadline is Monday, and the fee for the four-day camp is $195, which includes a T-shirt.
  • July 26-29 – The other camp will take place from 1-4 p.m. in the Biology Labs in Brazos Hall at the University of Houston System at Sugar Land, 14004 University Blvd. in Sugar Land. The registration deadline is July 12, and the fee is $185, which includes a T-shirt.

Families of UHV employees and alumni can register for $85 per student for camps at either campus.

For the sake of lab safety, each camp is limited to 40 students, and registrations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Application information and a medical release must be submitted in advance for each participant. To register or for more information, call 361-570-4361 or 866-800-8762.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler