Today the Nowgen Schools Genomics Programme website launches with a range of free,
multi-media resources to update the study of modern genetics in schools and colleges.
Developments in genetics research have leapt from sequencing the human genome over
ten years at a cost of $3 billion to sequencing a genome in days for just a few thousand
dollars, while the genetics in classroom education have remained relatively static.
The pace of research means that genomics, more than almost any other field, will
have a significant impact on today’s students, both in terms of their own health
and the impact on wider society, so they need to have access to up-to-date information.
The Nowgen resources aim to bring cutting-edge research into the classroom, helping
teachers and students explore the impact and potential of modern genetics.
Nowgen, a centre of excellence in public engagement, education and professional training
in biomedicine, works closely with leading researchers to narrow the gap between
genomics research and genetics education. The resources have been developed from
a three-year project, the Nowgen Schools Genomics Programme, funded by the Wellcome
Dr Bella Starling, Nowgen, explains the aim of the project’s resources: “We feel
that students need to have access to information on modern genetics, both to enable
them to understand the role of genetics in their everyday lives, and to inspire some
to become scientists in the future. However, due to the restraints of time and curriculum,
the genetics taught in most classrooms only covers traditional single-gene genetics
and not the wider, modern study of genomics. We hope these new resources will help
teachers and students explore the cutting-edge work being done in genomics that is
already having an effect on healthcare and society today.”
All the resources are free to access for teachers and students and can be used to
enhance any post-16 biology course by encouraging students to explore and understand
genomics and the impact developments in this field will have on society. The videos,
discussion ideas, teacher guides and student activities can support designated UK
post-16 biology courses including: A level Science in Society; Perspectives on Science
(Edexcel Extended Project); and the Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology (SNAB) A level.
The resources also offer valuable insights into the work of researchers and so can
be used as real-world career materials.
For more information: Nicola Hern, e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: 07980 098652
Notes to Editors
The Nowgen Schools Genomics Programme, supported by the Wellcome Trust, was launched
in 2009 with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of presenting young people
with key concepts in modern genetics and to promote changes in how genetics is taught
in schools. By providing teachers with contexts, resources and mechanisms for introducing
modern genetics into their teaching, the Nowgen Schools Genomics Programme aims to
narrow the gap between scientific research and classroom learning.
Nowgen is a centre of excellence in public engagement, education and professional
training in biomedicine. It is part of the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre,
a partnership between Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
and The University of Manchester. Nowgen:
Leads public dialogue about biomedical science and its associated issues, enthuse
citizens of the future about developments in biomedicine, and build on our reputation
for patient involvement;
Delivers highly evaluated professional training in biomedicine and in innovative
and developing technologies;
Improves the practice of genetic medicine and biomedical research through patient-centred
studies and initiatives in service delivery;
Provides first class meeting and conference facilities and professional events management
in our purpose-built centre.
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary
improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical
research and the medical humanities. The Trust's breadth of support includes public
engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent
of both political and commercial interests.