The UI Department of Biology participates in a program called Project HOPE (Healthcare, Occupations, Preparation, and Exploration), a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)-based career education program designed to connect minority and low socioeconomic middle school students to the health science professions early in their education. Eighth grade middle school students from West Liberty, Iowa, were on the University of Iowa campus on Monday, May 18, 2015, to experience career simulations of various health care and research occupations. One such research career simulation conducted in the Department of Biology was coordinated by Lori Adams and Meaghan Rowe-Johnson from the Iowa Biosciences Academy program. The middle school students participated in a DNA extraction activity where students were asked to isolate their own genomic DNA and create a wearable "DNA necklace" through the extraction of their own cheek cells. During the simulation, students also participated in several games and a short lecture regarding the function and significance of DNA.