North Vancouver—High school students from across the lower mainland will come together this week to participate in Genome BC’s Geneskool Summer Science Program for Teens at Capilano University in North Vancouver. This one week program offers students the opportunity to experience molecular biology techniques that scientists use every day and apply these skills to an exciting mock murder mystery. A variety of thought provoking biotechnology, genomics, inheritance, virology, forensics and microbiology activities will be offered throughout the week.
Through a combination of dynamic lectures and hands-on experiments, students navigate the twists and turns of this who-done-it, as they interrogate suspects and investigate the crime scene for fingerprints, blood stains and clues. With Capilano University’s state-of-the-art lab facilities as a backdrop, teens participate in over a dozen labs including pipetting, gram staining, bacterial classification, DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Jell-O brain dissection, karyotyping and gel electrophoresis. After a thorough investigation, participants use their newfound knowledge and experience to solve the crime.
This year’s program will be visited by five expert speakers from SFU, UBC, BC Centre for Disease Control, and BCIT Forensic Science. The speakers will give exciting presentations on topics of medicinal chemistry, experimental medicine, epidemiology and forensics—contributing their specialized knowledge to the overall experience of the week.
Genome BC’s Geneskool program has been travelling to communities across BC throughout each year since 2004 and the Geneskool Summer Program has been turning teens on to science since 2009.
“Our aim is that, after attending Geneskool, 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 Sally Greenwood, Vice President, Communications and Societal Engagement at Genome BC.
“Students are really enthusiastic about the Geneskool Summer Program 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 Ashley Port, Geneskool Summer Program Director at Genome BC. “Students 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.”
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