Making plant genetics accessible to our local youth

The month of July saw the CenGen staff pulling out all stops to reach out to science learners from schools surrounding Worcester. In collaboration with the Cape Winelands Education District, and with funding from DIPLOMICS, we hosted 6 days of workshops for Life- and Agricultural Sciences learners.

Like in 2022, we focused on introducing learners to the exciting field of genetics, with a particular focus on how plant genetics is pivotal in ensuring that we have food on our shelves.

A new feature of this year’s workshops was that we took to the road to reach out to the schools! geneLearners 8 was hosted for the Grade 12 Agricultural Sciences class at the Iingcinga Zethu Secondary School in Ceres, whilst we travelled to Somerset High School in Worcester for an interactive geneLearners 7 workshop for Grade 10 and 11 Life Sciences learners.

As part of Science Week in the beginning of August, we also hosted 22 Life Sciences learners over three days at our laboratory, where they had the opportunity to do their own DNA extractions and were exposed to the workings of a real-life molecular genetics laboratory.

As always, we truly enjoyed spending time with the youngsters, and we hope to have inspired some of them to pursue a career in the biological sciences!

geneLearners 7 at Somerset High School
geneLearners 8 at Iingcinga Zethu Secondary School
geneLearners 9 day 1 at CenGen
geneLearners 9 day 2 at CenGen
geneLearners 9 day 2 at CenGen

Some fun in our laboratory:

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