Amy Thomassen helped Science World in Vancouver put The GEEE! in Genome on Thursday, then went right back to her studies.
Thomassen, a College Heights Secondary graduate, is currently attending the University of British Columbia medical program, but will be back up to study at the University of Northern British Columbia in January.
She was picked to help out with the opening of the genome exhibit because of her experience with a similar program in this region.
“I was the co-ordinator last year for Geneskool North, so they invited me to come to this opening and meet people and talk to them about genes and genomics.”
The Geneskool program will play a major role in the Science World exhibit, as there will be weekly workshops for high-school students for the duration of the exhibit.
“In the Geneskool workshop,” Thomassen said, “we take students through a murder mystery, give them an idea of what looking for genetic evidence is all about. We finish by having the students extract some DNA from a a kiwi fruit.
“That gives them the chance to see what DNA looks like in the real world.”
The kiwi fruit, she confirms, is not an actual suspect in the murder mystery.
With the opening out of the way, Thomassen can now concentrate on her studies.
“It’s a four-year program, followed by a residency that varies depending on what specialty you’re in, but is at least two years.”
Thomassen knows she still has time to decide on a specialty, but for now says she would like to do something in surgery.
She’s also hoping to get involved in the Geneskool North program again this year.
“We take volunteers from UNBC with the program to outlying communities. They can be role models for students in the region.”