Genome British Columbia - Genome Genomics

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Genome BC Geneskool: Making a difference for high school students and teachers

Secondary students in Abbotsford and Chilliwack are getting a unique and rare experience inside the world of genomics and genetics when Genome BC’s Geneskool program visits seven science and biology classes at three secondary schools on January 27, 28 and 29. Students will participate in fun and interactive genomics workshops featuring tailor-made experiments and activities exploring themes such as DNA structure, function and extraction and DNA gel electrophoresis. These engaging workshops introduce students to realms of science not currently encompassed in their ongoing curriculum.  The workshops also allow students to exercise their problem-solving skills to analyze suspect interrogation reports and fingerprints to solve a mystery.

The 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. Genomics is an information science that is increasingly becoming more important as every living organism on the planet has a genome.

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.  

“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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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. 

Genome BC is supported by the Province of British Columbia, the Government of Canada through Genome Canada and Western Economic Diversification Canada and more than 300 international public and private co-funding partners.

In addition to research, Genome BC is committed to openness, meaningful dialogue, public outreach, and educational leadership, and as such, seeks to foster understanding and appreciation of the significance of genomics and proteomics 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:  

Jennifer Boon, Communications Specialist
Genome BC
Cell: 778-327-8374
Email: jboon@genomebc.ca