Jeff Chirikjian, vice president of biotech education company Edvotek, said they sell kits that teach students techniques nearly identical to those used in crime labs and research facilities. The difference? Scale and price.
One kit the company sells allows students to amplify and analyze 12 DNA samples. The kit costs around $400, thousands less than a professional laboratory version that handles 96 samples.
"We made it simple, easy to use and safe, but yet it's still real science," Chirikjian said.
Of course, just because the classrooms operate differently doesn't mean everything will change.
"There's a lot of work that's been done on how to motivate kids, how to get them excited and so on," said Bennett, the astronomer, "but we forgot to tell the kids you actually have to go home and study hard."