Genome BC will be visiting secondary students and teachers in the Okanagan on Wednesday and Thursday of this week as they bring their student outreach program to the area.
This week over 150 secondary students in Kelowna and Oliver are getting a unique and rare experience inside the world of genomics and genetics. Genome BC’s Geneskool will be running in-class workshops at multiple high schools where students will be introduced to realms of science not currently encompassed in their ongoing curriculum.
The goal of the Geneskool activities is to introduce students to the study of genomics in a fun and interesting context. One of the activities, the mysterious case of the GMOs, is a game that highlights how biotechnology can be applied to address global challenges and emphasizes the importance of science literacy in making informed decisions. 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 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 molecular level while learning, having fun and garnering a greater appreciation of the world around us.”