February 16, 2021
Vancouver, BC – Genome British Columbia (Genome BC) will be running virtual visits this week to facilitate several workshops on topics related to genetics and forensics to local students.
Two classes at North Peace Secondary School will get a unique and rare experience inside the world of genomics and genetics today. Genome BC’s Geneskool Education Program will be virtually running the Rare Genetic Diseases workshop created by one of our own Geneskool volunteers, Dr. Phillip Richmond.
In this workshop, students are challenged to diagnose patients living with rare genetic diseases through a series of case studies. Working in collaborative teams, students process, analyze and synthesize family history and genomic information in order to make the correct diagnosis. These case studies allow students to apply their knowledge of DNA and heredity learned in Science 10 to problems that doctors, bioinformaticians, research scientists and clinical geneticists solve every day.
The goal of the Geneskool activities is to introduce students to the study of genomics in a fun and interesting context. Beyond hands on experiments, the societal context and implications of various genomic technologies are discussed. As much as possible, these are student-driven discussions.
Students will also learn what a genome is: an organism’s complete set of DNA – basically a blueprint for an organism’s structure and function. They will also learn what genomics is: the science that aims to decipher and understand the entire genetic information of an organism (i.e. plants, animals, humans, viruses and microorganisms) encoded in DNA. The Genome BC Geneskool volunteers, scientist presenters from UBC’s Let’s Talk Science program, are often MSc and PhD candidates who share their motivation and passion for science with the students.
“Molecular biology is an integral part of our natural world,” says Sally Greenwood, Vice President, Communications and Societal Engagement at Genome BC. “The Genome BC Geneskool program offers students a chance to use advanced laboratory technology and techniques to see the tiny world that exists at the molecular level while learning, having fun and garnering a greater appreciation of the world around us.”
Contact: Jennifer Boon, Communications Manager, Public and Media Relations