More than 100 secondary students in Kelowna are getting a unique and rare experience inside the world of genomics and genetics this week. Genome BC’s Geneskool will be running classroom workshops at Immaculata Catholic School to introduce students to realms of science not currently encompassed in their ongoing curriculum. Scientists will lead students through tailor-made experiments and activities exploring genetics, inheritance, mutations, DNA structure, function and extraction and DNA gel electrophoresis.
Genomics is an information science that is increasingly becoming more important as every living organism on the planet has a genome. This program will help inspire the next generation of researchers. 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.
“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.”
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.
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 Genome BC 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.
“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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About Genome British Columbia:
Genome British Columbia is a catalyst for the life sciences cluster on Canada’s West Coast and manages a cumulative portfolio of over $660M in research projects and science and technology platforms. Working with governments, academia and industry across sectors such as forestry, fisheries, agriculture, environment, bioenergy, mining and human health, the goal of the organization is to generate social and economic benefits for British Columbia and Canada.
In addition to research, Genome BC is committed to public outreach and educational leadership, and as such, seeks to foster understanding and appreciation of the significance of genomics science and technology among teachers, students and the general public. www.genomebc.ca
Media interested in visiting ‘Genome BC Geneskool’ in action or obtaining photos of local students participating in the program, please contact:
Communications Manager, Sectors