Students solve another CSI style murder mystery at Genome BC’s annual summer camp
Equipped only with their imaginations, kids from across the lower mainland converged on the campus of Capilano University in North Vancouver last week to engage in a combination of hands-on experiments and dynamic speakers in a one-week race against the clock to solve a CSI style murder mystery at Genome BC’s Geneskool Summer Science Program for Teens.
As they interrogate suspects and investigate a crime scene for fingerprints, blood stains and clues, students navigate the twists and turns of a who-done-it style mystery while learning how to apply the skills and molecular biology techniques that scientists use every day.
With Capilano University’s state-of-the-art lab facilities as a backdrop, teens participated in over a dozen labs including pipetting, gram staining, bacterial classification, DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), brain dissection, karyotyping and gel electrophoresis. After a thorough investigation, participants used their newly gained knowledge and experience to solve the crime.
“Geneskool is designed for students who want to take their interest in science to the next level,” said Evelyn Sun, Director, Geneskool Summer Program. “We encourage this opportunity by providing interesting content based in genetic science and enabling students to experience what it’s like to work in a real world laboratory.”
Evelyn Sun, Geneskool Summer Program Director (left) and Eva Yap, Program Coordinator (right), set up the crime scene for the Geneskool Summer Science program at Capilano University. PHOTO CREDIT Randi Shen
This year’s program was visited by five expert speakers from SFU’s Centre for Forensic Research, BC Cancer Research Centre, BC Centre for Disease Control, and BCIT Forensic Science. The speakers gave exciting presentations on topics of cancer biology, epidemiology and forensic DNA analysis and anthropology — contributing their specialized knowledge to the overall experience of the week.
“Our aim is that after attending Geneskool Summer Program, students will continue to appreciate the value of science and math in today’s knowledge-based economy. We are hopeful that students not only develop greater understanding of genetic sciences, but also realize the wealth of opportunity that exists in scientific disciplines,” said Sally Greenwood, Vice President, Communications and Societal Engagement at Genome BC.
Genome BC’s Geneskool program has been travelling to communities across BC throughout each year since 2004 and the Geneskool Summer Program has been turning teens on to science since 2009.