April 09, 2021
Vancouver, BC – Genome British Columbia (Genome BC) ran a unique virtual visit this week to facilitate a workshop on topics related to genetics and epidemiology to local students. Twenty students at Quamichan School got a unique and rareexperience inside the world of genomics and genetics today with Genome BC’s Geneskool Education Program.
In this workshop, students were challenged to solve a fictional outbreak case using real world epidemiologic tools that are currently used during COVID-19. Working in collaborative teams, students processed, analyzed and synthesized genomic information in order identify patient zero. These case studies allowed students to apply their knowledge of DNA and Cell Biology learned in Science 9 to problems that doctors, bioinformaticians, research scientists and clinical geneticists solveevery 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. Asmuch as possible, these are student-driven discussions.
Students also learnt 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 BCGeneskool 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.”
“We are very grateful that Genome BC offered this real-world learning to our students. Being able to have hands on experiences, that are so connected to what is happening in our world right now, brings learning to such a deep level,” saidRobyn Gray, Superintendent of the Cowichan Valley School District. “These experiences change lives and empower our students to work on the challenges our communities currently face.”
Contact: Jennifer Boon, Communications Manager, Public and Media Relations