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University of Pittsburgh Mobile Science Lab Visits East Catholic School

Students in four grades at the Forest Hills school spend the week with the sophisticated science lab.

The University of Pittsburgh's Mobile Science Lab is spending this week at East Catholic School in Forest Hills.

Students in grades five through eight will get a chance to experience the Mobile Science Lab, which is part of The University of Pittsburgh and the CTSI Clinical + Translational Science Institute. The Mobile Science Lab is an 80-foot long  truck equipped as a sophisticated science lab that goes to schools and community events to teach students and the public about new biomedical findings. 

East Catholic science teacher Angelo Lamanti, along with Barbara Paul, University of Pittsburgh/CTSI Mobile Lab education facilitator, are having the sixth- through eighth-grade students take part in a lab titled Zebrafish Caffeine Lab. The fifth-grade lab is entitled “Living With Bugs.”

Lamanti has separated the students into two groups, researchers and pathologists. 

The researchers are learning about micro-organisms that live in symbiotic relationships by using a computer activity that was developed by the CTSI staff. The students scroll over the human body and pop-ups show them what micro-organisms live there, their scientific name and the beneficial role that they play in health. 

The pathologists are using the light microscopes to identify their patient’s lung infection (either by a bacteria or a fungus). As the students finish their assignment, they switch roles and see what each other has been doing. 

The week's activities will conclude with a discussion on Friday.

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