Looking back on the 5th National DNA Lab Day

The 5th edition of the National DNA Lab Day for Dutch high school teachers took place on 7 April 2017. The event attracted 150 participants. 

The DNA lab day was organised by the ‘Reizende DNAlabs’ (DNA labs on the road). These are mobile practicals that educate high school students about DNA, genes, genomics, and the latest research techniques. The project has been up and running since 2006 and over 200.000 high school pupils have already participated in the practicals since then. The project is supported by the DTL learning programme. In 2017, the DNA labs on the road received funding from the Amgen Biotech Experience Programme, allowing them to visit more Dutch high schools and organise the fifth edition of the National DNA Lab Day.

National DNA Lab Day

In addition to lectures from Professor Mathieu Noteborn (Leiden University) and Ilse van Hensbeek (Amgen), the programme featured a variety of workshops. These addressed current topics in genomics that teachers may want to use in their classrooms. For instance, forensic DNA expert Ate Kloosterman (Nederlands Forensisch Instituut, University of Amsterdam) gave a workshop on extracting information about a suspect’s age from a DNA sample. Although several participants indicated that the workshop could have been more interactive, the general evaluation of this workshop was very positive. “I found it very interesting to hear about the latest developments and applications from people at the heart of the forensics field. I will certainly be able to use this in the classroom,” said one of the workshop participants.

About Amgen Biotech Experience

The ‘Amgen Biotech Experience’ is a science education programme that empowers teachers to bring biotechnology into their classrooms. Its programme sites provide professional development for teachers and all the equipment for use in the classroom. The goal of the DNA labs on the road and Amgen Biotech Experience is identical: to attract high school children to science and to empower high school teachers.

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