Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Teen Science Cafe: A CRISPR Way to Develop a Winter Crop for the Midwest

Thursday, February 20, 2020 @ 6:30 PM-8:30 PM


This Event is FULL!

St. Louis Community College at BRDG Park
1005 North Warson Road
St. Louis, MO 63132 United States + Google Map

REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Space is limited. FREE and OPEN to Junior Academy of Science members and all middle and high school students in grades 6-12 from throughout the region. PRE-REGISTRATION for Junior Academy members ONLY thru Friday, February 14. General registration opens Saturday, February 15. Register below!

To join the Junior Academy of Science, or to find out more about the benefits of membership in the Junior Academy, click here.

NOTE: This cafe requires the use of a laptop and the following software download, ApE- a plasmid editor. A limited number of facility laptops are available for use. Laptop reservation is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please indicate when registering below if you would like to reserve a facility laptop, or plan to bring your own. If you are bringing your own laptop, you will need to download the ApE software prior to attending. If requesting a laptop, you will be notified if one has been reserved for you. (Students may choose to work in pairs.)

6:30 pm – 7:00 pm: Dinner and Icebreaker
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm: Presentation & Activities

Featured Cafe Presenter: Catherine Espinoza Patharkar, Ph.D., Senior Molecular Biology Scientist, CoverCress, Inc.

CoverCress is a startup company focused on developing a new cover cash crop for the American Midwest. Molecular Biologist, Catherine Espinoza Patharkar, discusses how CoverCress is using gene editing to rapidly domesticate pennycress into a crop that produces a high-quality biofuel and animal feed, while protecting the soil during the winter. In this interactive teen cafe, you’ll play the role of a gene detective using fluorescence detection to sleuth out which plants are transgenics and potentially gene-edited and use bioinformatics tools to understand how gene editing technology, CRISPR, targets, deletes or repairs DNA and results in the CoverCress crop.

Can’t make the Academy’s A CRISPR Way teen cafe on Thursday, February 20? Register to attend A CRISPR Way cafe at the Saint Louis Science Center’s Taylor Community Resource Center on Wednesday, February 19 by clicking HERE.

Cafe Presenter Bio:
I am a Senior Molecular Biology Scientist with a passion for plant biology research and teaching. My research career started in my home country Peru, where I researched the genetic diversity of potatoes and sweet potatoes. While working on my Ph.D. at the University of Missouri, I investigated the molecular mechanisms of how plants respond to environmental stresses like salt stress and fungal attack. After a brief postdoctoral research stint, I held an assistant professor position at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, before moving to St. Louis to start working in a startup biotechnology company, CoverCress, Inc.

A CRISPR Way is a Gateway Teen Science Cafe Event of the The Academy of Science – St. Louis presented in partnership with St. Louis Community College at BRDG Park. Teen Science Cafe is underwritten in part with support from Boeing and the Employees Community Fund of Boeing St. Louis, sponsoring the full array of Academy STEM Teens programming.


Thursday, February 20, 2020
6:30 PM-8:30 PM
Event Category:


Saint Louis Community College at BRDG Park
1005 North Warson Road
St. Louis, MO 63132 United States
+ Google Map