Educational Programs

ISAAC Middle School Program and Experiments

In the Middle School ISAAC program, students have the opportunity to attend up to 4 sessions a year. Students conduct a series of 3-4 experiments per session. The experiments run during each session cover a wide range of topics from STEM fields including chemistry, biotechnology, physics and engineering.

ISAAC Middle School Program and Experiments
East Hanover Middle School Program

Day 1 Experiments:

  • Experiment #1: Acid + Base = BOOM! – An environmental clean-up of an empty laboratory. Identify organic acids for disposal by Infrared Spectroscopy (IR).
  • Experiment #2: Science Cents – Electroplating nickels with copper from pennies.
  • Experiment #3: Name That Salt – Identifying inorganic salts (cations and anions) using flame test and precipitation or color reactions.
  • Experiment #4: You Can’t B. cereus – What kind of Live and Active Cultures are used in making yogurt? Prepare a Gram Stain of bacteria isolated from yogurt to examine under the microscope and perform biochemical tests to identify the species of unknown bacteria.

Day 2 Experiments:

  • Experiment #1: Ouch! How Sunscreens Work – Examining Sunscreen ingredients by Ultra Violet Spectroscopy (UV).
  • Experiment #2: TUMS of pHun – Acid/Base Titration of TUMS to QC the tablets for active ingredient.
  • Experiment #3: Let it Glow –
  • Experiment #4: Bridge That Gap – Demonstrate the basic engineering principles of constructing bridges, including compression, tension and shear stresses. Use basic concepts of bridge design to construct working models of beam, truss and suspension bridges.

Day 3 Experiments:

  • Experiment #1: What a Pain – Isolate and identify the active ingredient from analgesic tablets.
  • Experiment #2: Slip Sliding Away – Gulf Oil Spill Analysis of contaminates by Gas Chromatography.
  • Experiment #3: What a Fill! – Demonstrate how blood collection tubes work. Measure states of pressure and vacuum.
  • Experiment #4: Disease Transmission – Observing the transmission of disease through handshaking and tracing the distribution of a fluorescent powder.

Day 4 Experiments:

  • Experiment #1: Too Much? Caffeine – Measure the caffeine and sugar content in various energy drinks by HPLC and color reaction.
  • Experiment #2: Renewable Energy – What sources of energy (hydro, solar, or wind) will help power our new “green” city? Using Knex models, we will measure energy production from these 3 sources.
  • Experiment #3: Why do we need trees? – Demonstrate the mechanisms of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in green plants and our dependence on this process. Investigate the role of photosynthetic pigment activation with different wavelengths of white light and the rationale for the term “going green.”
  • Experiment #4:
    • I Can See Clearly Now – Use convex and concave lenses and mirrors to measure focal points of lenses and then use this information to construct telescopes (Galilean and Keplerian), microscopes and cameras. OR
    • Plop Plop, Fizz Fizz –Measuring how fast Aspirin dissolves to help determine how fast the medicine will work.

Newark Middle School Program
In the Middle School ISAAC program, 8th grade Newark students have the opportunity to attend 2 sessions a year. Students conduct 2 experiments per visit. The experiments run during each visit cover topics from STEM fields including chemistry and biotechnology.

  • Experiment #1: Too Much? Caffeine – Measure the caffeine and sugar content in various energy drinks by HPLC and color reaction.
  • Experiment #2: Slip Sliding Away – Gulf Oil Spill Analysis of contaminates by Gas Chromatography.
  • Experiment #3: Let it Glow – Transform a jellyfish gene into E. coli, producing genetically modified bacteria that GLOW under ultraviolet light.
  • Experiment #4: Disease Transmission – Observing the transmission of disease through handshaking and tracing the distribution of a fluorescent powder.