Vancouver, BC – Genome British Columbia (Genome BC) will be visiting residents and secondary students in Quesnel on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week as they bring their community engagement and student outreach programs to the area.
This week over 40 secondary students in Quesnel are getting a unique and rare experience inside the world of genomics and genetics. Genome BC’s Geneskool will be running two full-day workshops at the College of New Caledonia where students will be introduced to realms of science not currently encompassed in their ongoing curriculum.
The goal of the Geneskool Full Day Campus Workshop is to introduce students to real laboratory techniques in a fun and interesting context. The basic theory behind the techniques will be discussed in an effort to increase students understanding of new topics and lab techniques.
The workshop is based on a mini ‘CSI murder mystery. Students carry out simple DNA profiling to narrow down suspects in a mystery and are therefore introduced to PCR and gel electrophoresis. 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.”