Genomics for Schools

As a step toward identifying opportunities to develop, in Auckland schools, educational initiatives that explore genomics, GIM held a STEM outreach focused symposium at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences (FMHS) on April 5th 2018. A number of current science partnerships with Auckland schools were presented by teachers, academics and non-profit STEM educational organizations. As discussed in our white paper – titled Genomics Into Schools (see download link below) – the conversations at this symposium galvanised GIM’s school education efforts around the development of resources teachers can use with students in the 10-15 year old age bracket. This is a formative time of a young person’s development when they formulate ideas about future career paths.

GIM has developed this classroom poster, suitable for Year 7-10 students, to provide an overview of the relationship between DNA structure, its organization into chromosomes in the nucleus, and its role in coding for proteins that contribute to specific functions of cells in an animal. In this particular case, the focus is on the protein haemoglobin, found in the red blood cells of the zebrafish.

A high-resolution image (5mb pdf) suitable for printing at A0 size can be obtained below by clicking the link below the picture. Printing at A0 size would reproduce the correct “actual size” of the zebrafish circled in brown.

For students that are new to microscopic and sub-microscopic aspects of biology, a useful starting point for investigating the make-up of multicellular organisms is to look at microscopy slides of pre-prepared animal and plant tissues or, even better, to additionally make some slides of their own, by staining cheek cells from the inside of their mouth or by staining onion cells.  However, many students do not have access to microscopes.  The guide provided at the link below gives instructions on how to navigate through an online zebrafish atlas used by researchers to explore the anatomy of developing zebrafish at cellular resolution.