Bring Biology back to life with a Kickstart workshop that is designed especially to support and enhance the HSC biology syllabus. Every workshop is totally hands-on and features real specimens that the students can see and touch - living plants and animals, preserved museum specimens and fresh tissue for dissection.
Each module in our Kickstart program is closely aligned with the HSC syllabus, and has been enriched by cutting-edge science and expertise from the research laboratories in the School of Biological Sciences. With access to a wide range of instruments and resources from our modern teaching laboratories, Kickstart gives students a real university experience in biology.
Genetics: The Code Broken?
This module explores modern genetic techniques used in hospitals and laboratories to identify hereditary diseases. Set in the context of a young couple with a family history of Huntington’s Disease, students will perform a number of procedures to provide information to the family:
- Use blood typing on real blood to identify ABO and rhesus blood groups, combined with pedigree analysis to understand modes of inheritance
- Using real DNA and modern equipment used in molecular laboratories, students will perform ‘DNA fingerprinting’ to identify the mutations associated with Huntington’s Disease, and make predictions about its severity and onset
- Analyse a pedigree and use linkage to determine alternative methods of identifying mutations in individuals
- Identify issues related to the genetic counselling of individuals with familial disorders, including ethical considerations and testing options
This workshop will also address the following topic areas:
- The sequence of events involved in the production from DNA to protein
- The different types of mutations
- Microsatellites, linkage and anticipation
- Paternity testing
- Gene therapy
Areas addressed from the Biology Stage 6 Syllabus:
1.1, 2.2, 2.4, 3.3, 5.1, 6.1
- Perform first-hand investigation into the effect of temperature on the rate of amylase activity (techniques: spectrophotometry)
- Extract DNA from Arabidopsis leaf tissue then separate DNA using gel electrophoresis so it can be visualised under UV light (techniques: DNA extraction, micropipette, gel electrophoresis)
Blueprint of Life
This workshop covers evolution and the genetics of inheritance using a wide variety of museum specimens and LIVE animals. Students learn by getting hands-on experience with the materials.
Support for theory of evolution:
- giant models of embryos: human, pig, chicken, fish
- real cast of fossilised Archaeopteryx
- a wide variety of animal skeletons that demonstrate homologous structures (eg: pentadactyl limb) and a LIVE python with vestigial limbs
Genetics and Inheritance:
- Morgan’s Experiments using LIVE fruit flies – sex linkage of white eye trait
- type real human blood to learn about co-domninant phenotypes
- LIVE insects that demonstrate the effect of environment on gene expression
Using live specimens, giant models and charts, students will investigate the anatomy and function of the human ear and eye. In order to experience the functions of parts of the eye and ear, students will do a range of interactive exercises used by doctors to test the hearing and vision of patients.
- colour perception
- blind spot
An eye dissection exercise will be carried out to gain a more complete understanding of visual communication.
- sound shadow
- nerve/conduction deafness
- observing ear drum using otoscopes
Students get to use special interactive software that demonstrates how Cochlear Implants hear.
Using dissecting microscopes and other tools students will investigate and identify the detection and communication organs in animals and relate these to the environment in which they are found. Animals covered:
- Reptiles, and
We use LIVE animals for this component.
If there are other areas that have not been covered by the above topic areas please contact us to discuss your specific needs.
Contact: Dr Cecily Oakley
Phone: (02) 9351 4543
Fax: (02) 9351 2175