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LSLC Field Trips: Medicines and Me

Over-the Counter (OTC) medicines are legal drugs that can be purchased without a physician’s prescription. Recent studies have shown tweens (young adolescents) around 11 years old, or in the fifth to sixth grade, self-administer OTC medicine. The American Association of Poison Control Centers conducted a survey in order to measure the level of OTC medicine safety awarestudents workingness among 1,100 tweens. The results of the study indicate a need for more education about safe use of OTC medication, especially as secondary school students begin to become more independent and self-administer their medication.

We have developed two Medicines and Me field trips for middle school students, and a third Medicines and Me field trip featuring advanced skills for the high school learner.  The high school field trip include the use of agarose gel electrophoresis and a hands-on activity that simulates protein lab assays used in clinical research.


Middle School Field Trip Programs

These 2-hour, hands-on laboratory investigations are designed for students accompanied by their teacher. The middle school field trip programs are targeted towards students in grades 6-8, however students in grades 9-12 are also welcome to sign up for these programs. Our Medicines and Me programs are available for the upcoming school year.

  • Field trips offered Monday-FridayElisa
  • Programs run from 9:00AM to 11:00AM (lunch is not provided)
  • Cost is $15.00 per student (LSLC can accommodate up to 25 students)

Medicines and Me field trips have been designed to educate middle school students (tweens) about the safe use of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, and the drug development process. The field trip can be used to incorporate OTC medicine safety education into life science, biology, health, or family and consumer science classrooms. Middle school teachers can choose from two field trip options.

Medicines and Me I: Drug Interactions

Students learn how scientists use lab tests in the development of an over-the-counter medicine. During the field trip students learn about the safe and effective use of OTCs. The hands-on lab activities focus on OTC drug interactions with diet, dietary supplements, and other drugs.  There are four main parts to the field trip, each focusing on an OTC medicine safety concept.

Laboratory techniques, skills and basic scientific concepts include:

  • Data analysis 
  • How to make a dilution and serial dilutions
  • Calculating the concentration of a solution
  • Determining the effective dose of over-the counter (OTC) medicine
  • Reading Drug Facts Labels
  • Potential Drug Interactions and adverse side effects
  • Drug safety

Medicines and Me II: Medicines Can Look Like Candy

Students learn the various forms that medicine can take, including gummies and chewable forms. They then use measuring skills to formulate a mock gummy pain reliever medicine. Lastly, students develop a marketing campaign for safely advertising OTC medicines to adults and not children.

Laboratory techniques, skills and basic scientific concepts include:

  • Data analysis
  • Accurately measuring liquid medicine with a dosing cup versus kitchen spoons/flatware.
  • Medicine comes in different formulations (liquid, tablet, gel, gummy, etc).students working
  • Inactive vs active ingredients in medicines
  • Weighing compounds using a balance /scale
  • Use of a graduated cylinder
  • Medicines can look like candy
  • Safe advertising of OTC medicines

High School Field Trip Program

This 2-hour, hands-on laboratory investigation is targeted toward students in grades 9-12. These activities are designed for groups of students accompanied by their teacher. Our high school Medicine and Me field trip program  uses engaging, hands-on activities designed for students to better understand the scientific method, along with basic lab skills and concepts used in over-the counter (OTC) drug research and development. This field trip show students a glimpse into the clinical research process.

  • Lessons are offered Monday-Friday
  • Programs run from 9:00AM to 11:00AM (lunch is not provided)
  • Cost is $20.00 per student (LSLC can accommodate up to 25 students)

Medicines and Me III: Over-the Counter (OTC) Drug Research and Development

The Life Sciences Learning Center uses laboratory simulations to illustrate the over-the counter (OTC) drug development process. During this engaging case study students will learn how basic science can be used to develop a new OTC drug to determine the effective dose of the OTC drug. Students will also learn that clinical research can provide insight into effectiveness, and potential adverse side effects of OTC drugs. They will then learn about using immunoassays to determine the effectiveness and safety of potential OTC drugs, and they will also learn about the marketing of drugs to consumers.

Laboratory techniques include:

  • Agarose gel electrophoresis
  • Bacterial cell transformation
  • Data analysis

Student with lab testgirls in labstudents class







Sign up for our LSLC field trips here. Field trip registrations are on a first-come first-served basis. Be sure to contact us and request, schedule, and secure your trip while dates are available. Please see our online calendar for current availabilities.