SCienceLab provides an opportunity for middle and high school science teachers to bring their classes to the University of South Carolina to experience inquiry-based science in the context of a university research laboratory. The students spend a whole day at the university doing a series of experiments that are led by members of a university research team.  The students interact with the professor leading the group as well as research technicians, graduate students, and undergraduate students who are members of the research team. Lunch is provided for all participants and the students have the opportunity to interact with the research team on an informal basis during the lunch break.

Each unit is investigative in nature and employs techniques used by the research laboratory that is teaching the class.  During the course of the day, the professor in charge of the unit explains the research that is currently underway in his/her laboratory and how it relates to the exercises being performed by the students.  

The primary goal of SCienceLab is to increase middle and high school studentsí appreciation of science as a research discipline through a hands-on experience that was based on actual university research. A pre-/post- survey of student attitudes showed an increase in the number of students who said that science is fun. In addition the number of students who said that they were likely to go to college increased after their visit to the university. Interestingly, females were more likely than males to say both that science is fun and that they were likely to pursue science as a career.

The faculty members who teach SCienceLab modules model inquiry-based instruction for the visiting teachers and demonstrate that their students respond well to this approach. Consequently, we are pleased when the secondary school teachers tell us that they are more likely to use inquiry-based instruction and technology in their classrooms after having attended SCienceLab.

However, both teachers and students have said that the most important outcome was that students could visit a university and participate in a "real" science experiment conducted by university researchers.


If you are interested in scheduling a laboratory visit, check the calendar link for available lab dates and then send an email to Bert Ely ( or call 777-2768. Scheduling for the 2108-2019 academic year SCienceLab visits has begun.


Note: We have developed a kit that contains the needed supplies and equipment so that you can do the Genetic Roots experiment in your classroom laboratory. If you are interested in borrowing the kit, contact Bert Ely at or 777-2768.


Funding for SCienceLab had been provided by a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institutes of Health. However, since that grant has ended, the future of SCienceLab is contingent on generating sufficient support to keep it running. If you would like to help provide support for SCiencelab please contact Bert Ely at or 777-2768