Grades 7-9, 8-11

With the year-long curriculum, students explore molecular biology (Fall term), genetics (Winter term), and genomics (Spring term). The course content does not divide neatly into three distinct areas of inquiry; however, we maintain the relative emphasis of the sequence.

Note: When the course is offered for winter/spring term only, the course is not a compressed or accelerated version of the academic year-long offering. The course emphasizes molecular biology and genetics. Student understanding and prior knowledge determine what portion of the genomics lessons are taught.

3-D model of the DNA double helix, built by our students (left).  Agar plates for microbiology (top right). The nematode worm, C elegans, engineered to make neurons glow with green fluorescence (bottom right).

3-D model of the DNA double helix, built by our students (left).  Agar plates for microbiology (top right). The nematode worm, C elegans, engineered to make neurons glow with green fluorescence (bottom right).

Students begin exploring key concepts in Molecular Biology by examining DNA and recreating and participating in elements of biomedical engineering taking place in professional research labs today!

Students are introduced to Watson and Crick's "central dogma" of molecular biology: how DNA is replicated, transcribed into RNA, and translated into protein. 

During the Winter Trimester, students extend and apply what they have learned in molecular biology to genetics.

During the Spring Trimester of this course, students are ready to investigate key ideas and challenges in genomics including (but not limited to:

  • a deeper understanding through discussion and labs of polymerase chain reaction and how it can and is being applied in labs today to achieve genomic outcomes for improving human health.
  • leading edge research (e.g., CRISPR/CAS) and its medical and ethical implications.
  • computational genomics and its application to disease.

The Innovation Institute's team engages area research institutions and industries to help our students understand how and why real people are investigating the science behind and developing innovative solutions to the topics covered in this course. 

Prerequisite: Microworlds: Introduction to Micro and Molecular Biology unless student has permission from Ti2 staff.