The Year 11 Biology students travelled to Flinders University in Week 2 of Term 4 to participate in Forensic Biology practical workshops. The students engaged in practical applications of the Biotechnology topic they have been studying. In the university laboratories, the students were shown how to use micropipettes to load samples into agarose gels which were then separated by gel electrophoresis. The identity of unknown samples could be determined by comparing the sizes of the banding patterns of the samples to known samples. The students also analysed DNA profiles from crime scene evidence to determine relationships between trace DNA found at a crime scene and potential suspects.
Jennie Finch and Julia Lombardo
Year 11 Biology teachers
“This program provided us with a unique opportunity to apply theory from the classroom to a practical setting. It was interesting running the gels and learning about some of the applications in real life. Visiting the university labs was a chance to see some of the equipment that we wouldn't see in the classroom, look at the structure and procedures of university laboratories, and learn more about possible STEM courses.”
“I really enjoyed our bio excursion to Flinders University. It was really interesting to see some of the theoretical concepts we learnt being shown to us and their practical uses demonstrated. It was really a great opportunity to learn about not only biology, but also all the kinds of careers within it, as well as what you actually do in those careers.”
“The biology excursion to Flinders University was a great opportunity. It allowed me to see the tasks needed if I was to go into the field of forensic science. I really enjoyed working in the lab environment and using the technology provided. I learnt that gel electrophoresis can be used on crime scenes to determine who the perpetrator was and can also be used to analyse genes associated with some illnesses.”