Kelowna Secondary School students participate in Genome BC’s Geneskool in-class workshops. The program is taking place this week at school in Kelowna and Oliver. Photo Credit: Contributed

Students exposed to science of genomics

Geneskool program presented at Kelowna and Oliver high schools this week

Secondary school students in Oliver and Kelowna are being given a unique and rare classroom experience into the world of genomics and genetics.

Genome BC’s Geneskool will be running in-class workshops at local high schools where students will be introduced to realms of science not currently encompassed in their ongoing curriculum.

The goal of the Geneskool activities is to introduce students to the study of genomics in a fun and interesting context.

One of the activities, the mysterious case of the GMOs, is a game that highlights how biotechnology can be applied to address global challenges and emphasizes the importance of science literacy in making informed decisions.

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 university students eager to share their motivation and passion for science with the students.

“Molecular biology is an integral part of our natural world,” said 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.”

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