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Students get to learn about cahow genetic project

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Staff from CariGenetics have been teaching schoolchildren across the island about science (Photograph supplied)

Hundreds of children learnt about the science of conservation genetics during a recent island-wide school tour.

CariGenetics, a Caribbean-based genomics company founded by Bermudian research scientist Carika Weldon, recently completed the tour to students from primary to senior school age.

It aimed to give students the opportunity for early exposure to science and learn of the wide variety of career paths in science.

During the tour, they learnt the fundamentals of the cahow genetic project being run by CariGenetics and supported by grants from the Bermuda Zoological Society and the Atlantic Conservation Partnership.

Tahdae Tucker, CariGenetics laboratory manager, said: “Having the opportunity as a scientist to go around to the schools to teach schoolchildren science and the techniques that we use in a laboratory was an amazing first-time experience.

“The children thoroughly enjoyed it and were very attentive and eager to learn. Many of them expressed how they would like to grow up and be a scientist like me. To leave an impression on the students was heart-warming.”

Tiffany Mahraoui, of Chatmore British International School, said the visit helped to ignite students’ curiosity and develop ambition in science.

She said: “Our students were involved, attentive and had the chance to interact with hands-on learning about genetics. The students were inspired and loved learning about the DNA of lemurs.

“Their visit tied in nicely to our International Primary Curriculum as our learners were able to become global thinkers and internationally minded.”

Kate Sweeney, of Somersfield Academy, said the school’s IB Diploma Programme students learnt about cahow genome sequencing and took part in a hands-on DNA separating technique known as electrophoresis.

She said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to see science happening ‘in the real world’ and was very meaningful to have it presented in relation to a local issue.”

CariGenetics has been teaching schoolchildren across the island about science (Photograph supplied)

Andrea Isaac, St David’s Primary School deputy principal, added: “The presentation by Mr Bean and Ms Tucker was extremely relevant to what the students were going to be learning about in science and social studies … there are still points that I draw on during my instruction.”

Tarik Bean, project manager with CariGenetics, spoke about how well the tour was received by students of all ages.

“Bringing a hands-on and practical approach of the science to Bermudian students was the best part of the school tour,” he said.

“Our students can now see young scientific professionals that look like them succeed in a field underrepresented by Bermudians.

“They also had the opportunity to see the benefits of obtaining science degrees that can lead to careers outside of teaching and medicine in Bermuda.”

• Anyone interested in a school visit by CariGenetics should e-mail tarik@carigenetics.com

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Published May 24, 2023 at 2:15 pm (Updated May 26, 2023 at 5:30 pm)

Students get to learn about cahow genetic project

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