Educational Programs

ISAAC High School Program and Experiments

The ISAAC (Improving Student Affinity and Aptitude for Careers in STEM) high school program consists of a highly technical one-day science programs for students in grades 9 – 12. Current program offers day-long experiments in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and environmental science*. Future program opportunities include forensics, engineering, and computer science, among others. The Environmental Science program was created in partnership with the Great Swamp Watershed Association

*East Hanover Technology Center will run all three ISAAC high school programs; Newark Technology Center will run Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology Days.

ISAAC High School Program and Experiments

Pharmaceutical Science Day: During Pharma Day, students are introduced to careers in the pharmaceutical industry by analyzing a potential new product.

Experiment Premise: The FDA has reason to suspect that Norvin Pharma Inc. has manufacturing issues with their cholesterol-lowering drug tablets. Members from each of the teams will go to each of the four major and 4 minor analytical technologies, gather data and determine if the tablets are ready for market. Groups will report back (oral presentations) to the FDA on their findings at the end of the day.

Pharma Day – Procedures

  1. Identity testing using melting point, UV and IR spectroscopy.
  2. Dissolution Testing
  3. Active ingredient Assay and Impurity by HPLC
  4. Residual Solvent Procedure by Gas Chromatography
  5. Tablet appearance, weight, friability and hardness testing

Biotechnology Day: We will look at biological processes and technologies which can help heal, feed and provide fuel to for the world. Students will be exposed to various careers in biotechnology industries. Each student will participate in one of these four experiments and explain their results to the other groups

  • Experiment #1: What is the link between the foods we eat and diabetes? – A look at hidden sugars in foods and detection of Insulin by ELISA
  • Experiment #2: Vaccines and Immune Response – Simple immunoassays are conducted to detect and quantify antibody production.
  • Experiment #3: Biofuels: The Formation of Ethanol by the Yeast Fermentation of Corn Syrup – A study of the fermentation conditions for corn syrup that contains glucose and other complex carbohydrates and yeast
  • Experiment #4: Fish Forgery: Is that really Wild Coho Salmon you’re eating? – An examination of muscle proteins in the fish samples by electrophoresis, antibiotic presence by HPLC and dye use by UV. We will determine whether the salmon samples are farmed or wild or if another fish species has been substituted.

Environmental Day: Students will be introduced to Wetlands and the impact industrial growth has on these areas and the environment in general. This program is a field experience in collaboration with The Great Swamp Watershed Association. Event takes place on sites in the Great Swamp.

Experiment Premise: Our organization needs to determine if a large construction project by Giganticorps that is directly upstream from our conservation area will impact these protected lands and waters.

  • Field Study 1: (Water Quality) –Using visual, chemical, and potentially biological (seasonally dependent) quantitative assessments to determine the water quality and the health of the stream.
  • Field Study 2: (Soil Analysis) – A soil site analysis by looking at a variety of soil assessment techniques
  • Field Study 3: (Habitat Survey) –We will look at the flora and fauna present on the site including both vertebrate and invertebrate communities.