iLab Student Laboratory

An ochsner physician teaches a high school group in iLab.

The iLab was developed as an additional resource and training laboratory for schools in our community. It hosts student groups from middle school to college throughout the year. The iLab's outreach efforts were originally expanded to include its own lab curriculum thanks to a generous $5,000 gift awarded to Education Outreach by Cox Charities.

Students and Teachers can benefit from the iLab by:

  • Scheduling an Ochsner-led iLab visit. For more information, please see offerings below.
  • Reserving space to teach specific laboratory curriculum. Teachers are able to utilize the fully-equipped space, alleviating the need for school funded equipment and greatly expanding the types of hands-on modules that could otherwise not be conducted in the classroom.
  • Using the iLab as an extension of the resources already provided.

iLab Offerings

Blue and yellow Ochsner iLab logo.

The below curriculum has been developed by the Ochsner Education Outreach staff. To schedule an iLab visit for your class, please email

Bubble Gum Mystery or Mulberry Mystery
Educational Topics: DNA analysis, forensics

In this experiment, students learn about DNA structure, how to work with professional laboratory equipment, properly use a pipette, run DNA samples on a gel. Students learn the practical uses of DNA analysis by performing gel electrophoresis with DNA collected from the “crime scene” and providing DNA evidence to help solve the mystery of “Who did it?”

ELISA - Mapping a Flu Outbreak
Educational Topics: Immunology, Microbiology, Public Health

Each student is given a tube of ‘body fluids’ one of which is infected with ‘flu’. Students then trade fluids with 2 or 3 other students and test the shared fluids by ELISA to find out who is infected. Using this information the class attempts to determine the initial infected student.

Ochsner Best Science Logo: Bioscience Enrichment for Students and Teachers.

Cell Death - Testing New Cancer Drugs
Educational Topics: Cell Biology, Cancer, Spectrophotometry, Drug Development

Students must compare the ability of several newly discovered botanical compounds to kill cancer cells through apoptosis. The lab uses a spectrophotometry technique and students will have to calculate the percent cytotoxicity using a provided formula to determine how the new drugs compare with a current market drug.

Diabetes Explorer - Determining Diabetes Status
Educational Topics: Diabetes, Diagnostic Testing, Standard Curve Analysis, Spectrophotometry

Students will use their knowledge about Diabetes to predict the diabetes status of 3 patients. Then they will test the patients’ blood glucose concentrations (not real blood) by constructing a standard curve on the spectrophotometer. Based on their calculated blood glucose concentrations, the students then determine the diabetes status of each patient.

Experimental Design – Learn How to Conduct Science
Educational Topic: Inquiry based Science

During this iLab visit, students will learn how to formulate a research question and a hypothesis, determine variables and experimental conditions, collect relevant data, and analyze data to lead to a conclusion. Students will have the freedom to design and run experiments using LabQuest® tablets and probes.

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