Genome British Columbia - Genome Genomics

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What secrets are hidden in the Mendelson family genetics? Local students learn medical genetics at Genome BC Geneskool Summer Camp

High school students from Burnaby, Langley, North Vancouver, Port Coquitlam, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver and West Vancouver will become the next medical genetics experts as Genome BC’s Geneskool Summer Camp returns to Capilano University for an intensive five-day workshop.

Through hands-on activities in state-of-the-art lab facilities, students will learn about genetics, advancements in genetic testing, inheritance, visualizing chromosomes, ethics in genetics and much more. The students analyze a fictitious family and put their newfound knowledge to use to solve the mystery of the Mendelson family. This popular outreach program illustrates the use of genomics in everyday life and affords participants an opportunity to learn new methods and techniques that they can apply to upcoming science courses once the school year begins.

This year the camp will host guest speakers Meena Kumar, a trained Genetic Counsellor and Dr. Alice Virani, a Clinical Ethicist.

The Genome BC Geneskool program has been involved in communities throughout BC since 2004. Summer camp has been available since 2009.

“Students are really enthusiastic about summer camp because it highlights the fun and relevance of science to their everyday lives and they get to see what life is like in a real university laboratory setting” says Sally Greenwood, Vice President, Communications and Education at Genome BC. “Campers get an opportunity to utilize new tools, learn firsthand from experts in the field, and explore the potential applications and impact of genomic technologies on society.”

Part of the program is designed to get students working in teams to learn about science in a cooperative manner. The students will be spending time at Capilano University where they will have an opportunity to explore the applications of genetic technologies beyond the lab by considering the science from social and ethical perspectives. The program is set in a university laboratory so participants are able to conduct real experiments using equipment that would otherwise be unavailable to them.

“Genome BC and Capilano University share the same vision of preparing students to apply their knowledge and skills in ways that address real challenges and bring about change for BC and the world” says Richard Gale, Vice President Academic and Provost, Capilano University. “Genome BC’s Geneskool Summer Camp participants are extraordinary high school students, and we are honoured to play a role in the enhancement of their learning.”

“Our aim is that, after attending Genome BC Geneskool camp, 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,” says Greenwood.

“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.”

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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 $710M in 254 research projects and science and technology platforms. Working with governments, academia and industry across sectors such as forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, 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.

Media interested in visiting ‘Genome BC Geneskool’ in action or obtaining photos of local students participating in the program, please contact:  

Jennifer Boon
Communications Manager, Sectors
Genome BC
Mobile: 778-327-8374