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Last Modified: Thursday, February 27, 2014

VGCC to offer Biotech Workshop to high school students

Feb. 27, 2014

Vance-Granville Community College has scheduled its second annual Biotech Workshop for local high school students, as the first in a series of VGCC Arts & Sciences Camps and Workshops being held this year.


All tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders who have taken or are currently taking biology and chemistry are invited to attend the workshop, which is set to take place over the course of two Saturdays: March 22 and March 29, each day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students must attend on both days.


Sessions will be taught by VGCC faculty in the state-of-the-art biotech lab in Building 8 on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. “This workshop will give students a great opportunity to build their résumé and gain hands-on lab experience,” said VGCC Bioprocess Technology program head Dr. Danny Monroe, who will oversee the workshop. “You can develop lab skills here that you can use in college and in various careers, whether it’s in scientific research, high-tech manufacturing or medicine.”


Students will be introduced to Biotechnology, which is broadly described as using living organisms to develop and manufacture products for human use. This can range from yogurt and cheese to the production of human proteins in bacteria. The workshop will focus on the theories and methods behind producing and purifying proteins from bacteria that are normally found in other organisms. Participants will induce production of a jellyfish protein (Green Fluorescent Protein) from a culture of bacteria containing the gene and will proceed to purify the GFP through common laboratory methods.


The cost to attend the workshop is $40, which includes lunch each day.


This opportunity is one of a number of initiatives by the VGCC Arts & Sciences division to reach out into the community with unique learning activities. A Creative Writing workshop for adults is scheduled for Tuesday evenings, April 1 through April 22. The annual VGCC Science Camp for rising sixth, seventh and eighth graders will be held June 16-20, followed by Teenworks Drama Camp, June 23-27, which targets rising eighth graders through high school seniors.


The deadline to apply for the Biotech workshop is March 14. For more information, contact Dr. Danny Monroe at (252) 738-3232 or


Above: High school students (from left) Susana Garcia and Georgina Vanegas examine Green Fluorescent Protein during the first VGCC Biotech Workshop in 2013. (VGCC photo)

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