Students from Vancouver, North Vancouver, New Westminster, Lion’s Bay, Langley, Surrey and Coquitlam are getting a unique and rare experience inside the world of molecular biology genetics and genomics at Genome BC’s Geneskool’s Summer Camp at Capilano University from August 18 – 22, 2014. This week students are participating in workshops featuring tailor-made experiments and hands-on activities exploring themes such as DNA replication, protein and antibody synthesis and bacterial culture. These engaging activities introduce students to realms of science not currently encompassed in their ongoing curriculum.
Through activities entitled Disease Outbreak Investigation, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), GMO Investigation and Bacterial Culture Lab: What is the cause of “Yogutness”? students will be able to better understand the role of DNA and protein based science in everyday life.
The students will 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. Genomics is an information science that is increasingly becoming more important as every living organism on the planet has a genome.
The Geneskool Camp volunteers and instructors are often MSc and PhD candidates who share their motivation and passion for science with the students. In addition Geneskool Camp guest speakers include accomplished scientists like Dr. Jennifer Gardy and Dr. Brian Ellis.
The Genome BC Geneskool programs have been active in communities throughout BC for almost a decade and embrace the mantra that nowhere is too far or too small to visit. The program also shares science in a mobile fashion with creative Geneskool Travelling Suitcase Exhibits full of portable displays and hands on activities and materials. These exhibits are shipped up, down, across and around the province so that they are accessible to all teachers throughout BC who use them in their classrooms to enhance the current curriculum.
“Molecular biology is an integral part of our natural world,” says Sally Greenwood, Vice President, Communications and Education 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 microbial level while learning, having fun and garnering a greater appreciation of the world around us.”
“I don’t think we can underestimate the need to promote science to the next generation,” says Dr. Alan Winter, President & CEO of Genome BC. “The opportunities being presented through scientific research are fundamental to BC’s future prosperity and it is my belief that the resources offered by Genome BC Geneskool, which can be found on our website at www.genomebc.ca/education, could otherwise be inaccessible information by students and teachers.”
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