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Mock COVID-19 Kits Provide Students with Innovative Distance Learning Experience
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In an innovative example of how faculty are using COVID-19 as a learning experience, CLSI education partner, the Bay Area Biotech Education Community (BABEC), developed two innovative simulation COVID-19 test kits, which students can perform from home:

  • In one test, students use a lateral flow or paper strip as a mock rapid test for the COVID-19 antigen. This is the example game-changer test that can be administered quickly for quick results (<15min.) Students will examine three different samples and determine if the samples are positive, negative, or inconclusive.
  • In another test, students perform an ELISA simulation to examine the presence and quantity of COVID-19 antibodies. The purpose is to identify whether those who have been infected and survived have a high enough titre of antibody so their plasma can be used for convalescent plasma therapy. Using a cell-phone app that detects changes in intensity of color as their “spectrophotometer”, students will perform a standard curve and examine two patient unknown titres to see which has the highest titre when compared with the standards, transferring their recordings to excel to plot.

The mock kits were developed as part of BABEC’s BioSCOPE (Biotechnology Supply Chain Operations Projects for Education) program, another innovative initiative that teaches community college students supply chain manufacturing principles such as operations and quality control, as they manufacture kits for high school and college biology/biotechnology programs.  Students from Laney and Skyline Community Colleges assembled the Mock COVID-19 kits. The program is supported by the CA Community College Chancellor’s Office, which has enabled the development and dissemination of 1000 mock test kits.

The kits also include resources for faculty via a learning management system to incorporate into their own assignments. Resources include webinars, videos, articles, etc.  The accompanying lessons are bioscience-focused, with modules on emergency use, FDA approvals, and product development.

A long-standing champion of Bay Area high school teachers, BABEC  develops student interest in science and science careers through a combination of teacher professional development and highly leveraged, portable biotech supplies.  For more information, contact BABEC and community college faculty Ying-Tsu Loh or Skyline faculty Nick Kapp.