2020 BT Camp

 Biotechnology Camp for High School Students

(Focus on Nucleotide Hybridization)


The Biotechnology Camp guides students in doing applied research in order to develop an original application which they then promote. Students will learn how to utilize nucleotide hybridization (which underlies PCR, microarrays, sequencing, and CRISPR), perform group research to develop a diagnostic product, and connect their research with a real-world disease. At the end of the camp, students pitch a business plan for their application to their fellow campers. Since the camp involves intense learning related to command line computer usage, biophysics and the chemistry of genes, students need to be curious and persistent.

This summer, we will focus on designing cheap and fast applications to detect SARS-CoV-2. Ideally, a camper’s result could be further developed into a paper-based diagnostic tool (for example, a treated paper on which saliva would trigger a change).

Thanks to the support of the Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE), all BT campers will have access to the University of Michigan’s Great Lakes Slurm cluster on which to run calculations (Slurm = Simple Linux Utility for Resource Management).


DATE: June 22-26, 2020 (Mon – Fri)       TIME: 9 am – 4 pm Central time (10 am – 5 pm Eastern time)

LOCATION: Undergraduate Science Building, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109  Online

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Academically motivated current (2019-20) high school students interested in computers, math, science, and medicine.

Preferred candiates: Students who took the Computational Biology camp

Prerequisite: High School Biology Class

FEE: $550 (Basic membership included for all campers)

After reviewing your essay in the registration form, we will inform you regarding acceptance within 5 business days. If accepted, you will be sent payment options. Limited partial scholarships are available for financially-challenge students such as those in a free or reduced lunch program. Proof of income is required.

   If you have a regular membership and this your first camp, the price is $470.00. If this is your second camp, the price is $510.

   You may want to consider regular membership.


Bring a laptop and lunch (morning and afternoon snacks provided).


Registration Fee: $25 (your registration is finalized after the fee is received)



MICDE logo


  1. Expose high school students to career opportunities in biomedicine through hands-on experience in computational genomics and prepare them for the emerging era of medical genomics, when all doctors must be well-acquainted with genetic discoveries, technologies, and applications.
  2. Identify potential GIDAS (Genes In Diseases And Symptoms) club leaders at their schools.


Specific Aims

1.   Become familiar with Unix commands and run programs using command lines.

2.   Understand nucleotide hybridization and related thermodynamics.

3.   Design primers.

4.   Practice basic lab technology (PCR and Gel). Design SARS-Cov-2 detecting molecular switch.

5.   Understand the progress of the biotechnology and needs for next technology.

Typical daily activities

9:00 am – 10:00 am   test and review, games
10:00 am – 11:00 am   lectures covering specific aims, snacks
11:00 am – noon   hands-on activities
noon – 1:00 pm   lunch
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm   group activity, games
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm   research on a daily project, snacks
3:00 pm – 3:30 pm   student presentations/writing, games
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm   career discussion with a professional


Tentative career focus

university scientists (academic career)


law (ethics, patents, policy, etc)

pharmaceutics/biotechnology (careers in industry)



Each group will pitch a biotechnology busines plan based on the week’s research.

Recognition of the best pitch


Refund Policy

The $100 administrative fee will not be refunded once the camp application is accepted.

If a student withdraws, the camp fee paid minus the administrative fee will be refunded if we are notified by May 20, 2020.

If a student withdraws between May 21 and June 2, 2020, we will refund 50 percent of the camp fee paid.

No refund will be given after June 2, 2020.