Mobile Science Labs

Mobile Science Labs

*Information on COVID-19 and GGC’s Education Outreach

We are excited to be scheduling school visits for the Gene Machine and Helix Express vehicles for the 2021-22 school year! GGC is continuously monitoring COVID cases and have the following safety precautions in place:

Gene Machine: Because the Gene Machine mobile lab is a compact space and social distancing is not possible, GGC is requiring the use of face masks while onboard. Our instructors will wear masks, and we will provide masks for students who do not have one. Instruments, lab benches, and seats are cleaned frequently. No student will be allowed on board who is experiencing any symptoms of illness.

Helix Express: The Helix Express van allows us to bring equipment and activities into you classroom. Our instructors are required to wear masks inside your classroom, and we encourage the use of masks for all students and teachers during our visit. All equipment is carefully cleaned between each use.

Please contact Dr. Leta Tribble at or (864) 943-4170 with any questions regarding our COVID safety protocols.

The Mobile Science Laboratory Program allows the technology and expertise of the Greenwood Genetic Center to come directly to your school.

In 2010, with the support of a grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute, GGC acquired the Gene Machine, a 41 foot custom coach equipped as a mobile science laboratory. The Gene Machine is equipped with microcentrifuges, thermocyclers, gel electrophoresis apparatus, micropipettes, vortexes, water baths, magnetic heaters and electronic balances. It can accommodate up to 24 students at a time and includes safety equipment and an ADA-approved automatic wheelchair lift.

In 2017, with funding from the SC Educational Oversight Committee, we added a cargo van, the Helix Express, to our growing fleet. The Helix Express allows our instructors to transport lab equipment into the classroom to accommodate larger class sizes and expand our reach to serve more students.

Both vehicles allow students to engage in fun, entertaining and educational scenarios where they have the opportunity to learn about genetic traits and disorders, understand the lab techniques used in making a diagnosis as well as consider the ethical implications of testing and explore careers in the life sciences. Teachers can select from multiple lab activities including basic lab skills and genetic modules. Each of the modules addresses STEM initiatives and South Carolina Science Standards. The Gene Machine and Helix Express are available to visit middle and high schools across South Carolina at no charge to the school.

View our Calendar

Modules and Forms

Schedule A Visit

This year we have a new option to request a visit from the Gene Machine or Helix Express electronically. Paper forms are also available if you prefer. Please do not submit both.


Meet Makayla Gunn

Makayla was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome in April of 2015 at the age of two. At about 18 months, we noticed she had started some repetitive hand motions, and her pediatrician was a little concerned that she did not have many words. She had learned some sign language, and was saying ‘mama’ and ‘dada’, but that was it. Then she suddenly stopped all of that. At her 2 year old check-up, the pediatrician referred us to BabyNet, SC’s early interve...

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