Narrowing the gap between genomics research and classroom genetics
Modern genetics promises much in relation to our health. The Nowgen Schools Genomics Programme worked to help equip young people with the necessary skills and understanding to assess the real potential of genomics and how best to make informed decisions about future healthcare. Current research in human genomics has great potential for sparking interest among students, yet it is not prominent in the school curriculum. The Nowgen Schools Genomics Programme aims to redress that situation.
We are working through three broad approaches:
- Influencing curriculum development at GCSE and A level
- Supporting teaching and learning through resource development
- Direct delivery of enrichment and enhancement activities, specifically tailored to Edexcel A level Biology students
As part of this programme we have created three films which address some of the issues surrounding contemporary genetics and genomics:
- ‘Genes and disease‘ is for GCSE students
- ‘Breast cancer in the family‘ is for A-level students
- ‘Genomics, society and health‘ is for teachers
These films, and more, are available in our resources section.
Emerging knowledge of genetics in medicine has extended beyond rare conditions to include common diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. Large scale genetic association research, such as case control studies, help tease out the contribution genes can make to disease. These studies raise many questions; some scientific, some ethical and some political, yet there is currently comparatively little opportunity for school-aged students to consider them.
By working with key players in the scientific and education communities, Nowgen’s Schools Genomics Programme has helped embed contemporary research into school science and enliven students’ experience. We supported teachers and their students through:
- exploring genetic and lifestyle contributions to disease;
- considering the methodological challenges these studies require;
- examining the social and ethical challenges to society of setting up the studies;
- exploring the potential impact of data arising from these studies.
If you want to find out more about the Nowgen Schools Genomics Programme, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any enquiries or + 44 (0)161 276 8943