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Race to Find the Cure
(7-12 grade toxicology curriculum)

This activity simulates the extraction, identification, and separation of chemicals in or on plants using chromatography. Students work in groups representing different pharmaceutical companies racing to find the miracle cure for cancer.

This activity is a modification of "Isolation of Synthetic Chemicals from Plant Leaves" from Chemicals in the Environment Activities, Project LABS - Learning About Basic Science. Original Developers were: Andrea Martin, Abington Friends School, Jenkintown, PA; Dr. Paul Reibach & Dr. Diana Bender, Rohm & Haas Company, Spring House, PA.

This activity was used for the Pharm Camp student workshop in 2003.

Teacher Guides / Student Worksheets


Race to Find the Cure

Color Strip


Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center
University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, Room 244
PO Box 210207, Tucson, AZ, USA 85721-0207
Using chromatography, this activity simulates extraction, identification, and separation of chemicals in or on plants.

Funded by NIEHS grant # ES06694

1996-2004, The University of Arizona
Last update: November 10, 2009
Page Content: Stephanie Nardei
Webmaster: Stephanie Nardei