Instructors: Zach Armstrong, Alissa Cait, Aria Hahn, Rosa Hernaez, Craig Kerr, Keith Mewis
Lab Technician: Li-Juan Sun
Lead: David Ng

Grade 9 Personal Genomics Fieldtrip

(Generally held on Tuesdays, from September to June. Total 5 hour footprint, held at the high tech AMBL lab space, and free of charge for students and teachers).

NOTE: We are now fully booked. This will be the last year that this program is offered. We hope to design something new in the coming years.

Days: Tuesdays
Dates: From Sept to June
Grade Level: 9
Time: 5 hours
Start Time: 9am or 9:30am (please pick a preferred time)

Running Late? Please call the lab at 604-822-2809

Max Participants: ~30
Meeting Spot: Lecture hall in main foyer of the Michael Smith Building (directions)
Cost: Free

Email us to be placed on a waitlist (db at mail dot ubc dot ca, Subject: Genomics) with your school, class size, grade, your preferred start time, as well as 3 possible dates (Tues) for your visit. We will do our best to accommodate.

This program is open to Grade 9 classes only and offers a classroom an authentic research experience in the AMBL lab. The field trip content is closely tied to the genetics content in the new Grade 9 curricula. This hand-on visit runs from 9am – 2pm (ish) and offers your students a chance to carry out a DNA isolation experiment and to use laptops to investigate the properties and information contained within DNA and Genomes.

Two hosts will meet you and your class in the main floor lobby of the Michael Smith Laboratories at your pre-arranged start time. Your class will be guided through a hands-on exploration of the basic physical and chemical properties of DNA, the type of information that is carried by DNA, and the controversies surrounding the Human Genome Project. Students will carry out an experiment by isolating their own DNA. Students will have a chance to “be a cell” and transcribe and translate a genetic sequence. We will explore the type of information that can be gained by studying the human genome and the controversies that ensue. Students will be provided with all background information necessary to explore these topics. Your graduate student hosts will talk about what it’s like to be a university student and a scientist.

Teacher Resources

Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan 1.1 – Properties of DNA and DNA Isolation
Lesson Plan 1.2 – Information in DNA and Genomes
Lesson Plan 1.3 – Human Genomic Controversies

Answer Key 1.2 – Sequence Alignment, Transcription/Translation

Share Your Feedback – Download Teacher Survey
Share Your Feedback – Your students will be provided a link to this survey

Key Concepts Covered

Key Concepts mapped to Activities, MSL Genomics Field Trip

List of Websites Explored

Michael Smith Laboratories Science Outreach Programs,

Genome Sequencing, National Human Genome Research Institute,

PBS- DNA: Secret of Life, Windfall Films Production for Thirteen/ WNET New York in association with Channel Four,

Human Genome Project- Ethical, Legal, & Social Implications, Produced by the National Institute of Health,

A natural selection. Produced for Gene Screen BC 2011,

Vocabulary Covered

DNA, Genome, Protein, Chromosome, Base Pair, Phenotype, Allele, Gene, Deletion, Insertion, Mutation, Polypeptide, Amino Acid, Genomics

Ideas for Post-Trip Activities (Suggestions from Teachers)

  1. Students list of all the things they learned, discuss with parents for 15 min, parent signature
  2. Discuss ethics in Science/DNA
  3. Follow up on status of the Human Genome Project

This MSL outreach program was funded, in part, by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.