The internet is a wonderful tool for learning about genomics but, with lots of the information aimed at health professionals and researchers, where should teachers and students begin to look? We’ve gathered together some great resources for those looking to teach others about genomics or who want to learn more themselves.
The Wellcome Genome Campus
The Your Genome website has some useful educational videos, activities and facts that can be used in the classroom or biology revision sessions. Get competitive with your class and try the You vs Machine interactive game where you can take on the machine to sequence a sample of DNA
The Understanding Genomics pages on the Genomics England website contain infographics and videos that cover concepts such as “What is a genome” and “How do you sequence a genome?”. For those looking for more in-depth detail there are also sections on rare disease genomics and cancer genomics.
Genomics England is the organisation that ran The 100,000 Genomes Project and their website contains informative videos on how the data in the project is handled and analysed, as well as stories from participants about what taking part in the project meant for them.
Genetics Home Reference
Genetics Home Reference has some exciting interactive resources, tutorials, experiments and lesson plans for biology teachers looking for inventive ways to teach genetics. Topics covered include everything from DNA structure and function through to Precision Medicine and Epigenetics.
The Learn.Genetics website has a range of excellent resources and includes sections on genetics, cell biology, evolution, human health, neuroscience and much more.
Jeans for Genes
The Jeans for Genes website has a range of films and assemblies to bring the subject of genetics to life in a lesson or in front of the whole school. Their resources, which are categorised according to Key Stage, have been developed with teachers, tested within the classroom and are national curriculum friendly.
Pupils learn about genes, inheritance and genetic disorders through the eyes of young people who are either affected by a disorder or whose sibling is affected. Their film library houses the films made to date, and the secondary school assemblies can be found here. Stories describe genetic conditions including cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Huntington’s Disease. Each five-minute film is accompanied by a teacher factsheet and a set of lesson resources such as quizzes, games, activities and discussion topics.
Genetic Alliance UK
There are over 6,000 genetic conditions caused, at least partly, by changes in the DNA. The Genetic Alliance UK Learn About Genetics webpages provide information about DNA, genes and genomes and genetic conditions with sections including Genetic Disorders, Inheritance Patterns and ‘My Genome Sequence’.
Explore the STEM Education section of the Illumina website where you can find useful video resources for teachers and students. Topics include: Genes, CRISPR as well as a video series “Adventures in Genomics”. You’ll also be able to find classroom resources, podcasts, genomics careers information and a DNA rap.
Health Education England
Can you see the potential for genomics but would like some resources to help with your teaching about the new advances in this fast-moving area? The Health Education England Genomics Education Programme provides free and accessible online courses, including their ‘Genomics 101’ series, which cover topics such as ‘Introduction to Bioinformatics’ and ‘Sample Processing and DNA Extraction’. As well as other resources, The Genomics Education Programme also has lots of great YouTube videos and social media sites for you to follow and receive more updates.
The Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalised learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. Visit their Biology pages for topics including cell division, DNA, gene regulation, biotechnology and evolution. Additional Health and Medicine webpages cover areas such as respiratory and circulatory diseases, infectious diseases neurological conditions and much more.