What if... high school students learned about emerging jobs in health research?

Canadian Glycomics Network (NCE)

Michelle Johnsrude (left), a high school science teacher, works with graduate student Christine Tysoe at the University of British Columbia.

Teachers are working alongside scientists in the lab to develop classroom material that will introduce high school students to new career opportunities in the emerging field of glycomics. The joint initiative of GlycoNet and the University of Alberta’s Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (CMASTE) placed six teachers from British Columbia and Ontario at three universities in the summer of 2015. They worked with GlycoNet researchers on basic experiments involving chemistry, biology, medicine and engineering—foundational disciplines driving advances in glycomics (the study of the body’s carbohydrates) and the development of new drugs to fight influenza, blood clots, diabetes, seizures and migraines. Each teacher developed four lesson plans which are available free and for anyone to use on the CMASTE and GlycoNet websites.

It’s not often that you get to work with some of the leading scientists and researchers in the areas of biochemistry and microbiology, so that was quite rewarding to interact with them on some curriculum. I think more projects like this, where you’re linking secondary teachers with university professors, can help students with that transition [to university].David Kamatovic, Science Teacher, Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School