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Teaching is in your DNA, but is DNA in your teaching? 

New Zealand needs to to invest in and grow genomics research expertise to keep up with world genomic advances.  But to do this, we need to start at the beginning – getting people skilled and interested in a career in science at primary school level. 

Genomics Aotearoa supports the development and implementation of a genomics-oriented curriculum, to:

  • Improve public knowledge in science, particularly in understanding DNA, proteins, genetics, and genomics.
  • Build and support a skilled STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) workforce to attract and retain genomic talent in New Zealand.

Genomics Aotearoa has invested in a training programme and curriculum working with primary and secondary school teachers to develop teacher training materials and classroom life science curricula that introduce exciting advances in genomics alongside mātauranga Māori. The project involves workshops, working alongside the University of Auckland, University of Otago and Pūtahi Manawa (Healthy Hearts for Aotearoa NZ).

These are some genomics teaching resources for the classroom, aimed at explaining basic genomics terms and at demonstrating the potential for genomics:

  • Unlock Life’s Code, student version Suitable for middle and secondary school students, Unlocking Life’s Code provides an easy introduction into how the 20,000 to 25,000 human genes code for the myriad proteins that support every moment and every aspect of our lives.
  • The Genomics Revolution Suitable for senior secondary school students, teachers, citizen scientists and other members of the public, The Genomic Revolution provides a broad introduction to the use of genomics across an array of biological disciplines. The resource also covers many of the landmark discoveries in the history of DNA research as well as key technological developments over the past two decades that have fuelled a revolution in genetic/genomic science.
  • Unlocking the code poster This classroom poster, suitable for Year 7-10 students, provides 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.

Please contact us if you want to know more or have suggestions on what further resources would be useful.