October 18, 2013
Students in Cranbrook, Jaffray and Fernie are about to become the next CSI experts as Genome BC’s Geneskool program will be visiting classrooms in these communities next week. Fun and interactive genomics workshops will allow students to delve into hands-on activities such as DNA extraction and gel electrophoresis. After students learn the science, they will use the information along with suspect interrogation reports from a mock crime scene investigation to solve a “murder mystery”.
The Genome BC Geneskool program has visited communities throughout BC for many years and hopes to impart how fascinating science can be. “Students are really enthusiastic about the workshops, because it makes science fun and relevant to their lives,” says Sally Greenwood, Vice President, Communications and Education at Genome BC. “We make sure to explain the scientific activities and how they can be applied in real life situations, and explore the potential applications and impact of genomic technologies on Canadian society.”
Greenwood notes that teachers also like the program because it ties in to the high school biology curriculum. “Our aim is that after attending ‘Genome BC Geneskool,’ 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 realize the wealth of opportunity that exists in scientific disciplines.”
The free workshop sends scientist-presenters from UBC’s Let’s Talk Science program to rural communities, bringing molecular biology to regions where there are fewer opportunities for students to interact with advanced lab technology.
“The impact and applications of genome sciences in this century will be profound and far-reaching and we believe it is important that as a society we understand it,” says Dr. Alan Winter, President & CEO of Genome BC. “Engaging students in innovative education programs such as ‘Genome BC Geneskool’ helps them understand the significance of the science in a way that is accessible and exciting.”