Science Extension

Garvan's support for teachers running Science Extension


Garvan Institute of Medical Research supports the development the new Science Extension course by the NSW Education Standards Authority. We are excited to see students engaging with authentic science.


We are working to establish a register of  scientists interested in being mentors at Garvan, and will publish that list here in the near future. In the meantime, the resources below may be helpful to teachers and students interested in computer-based genetics projects.

Resources for genetics projects

There is a wealth of genetic information available in publicly accessible databases. Bioinformatics is an exploding area of research. Biologists and medical scientists increasingly depend on analysis of large and complex data sets. 

Starting activities and inspiration for students interested in bioinformatics projects could include some of the following:

  • Bioinformatics in Schools- a set of introductory activities from a Portuguese education project (available in English)
  • The European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences (ELLS) has a series of bioinformatics activities that students could work through to develop skills and inspire the formulation of an inquiry question. For example, their Discovering Bioinformatics activity follows the PAX6 gene through multiple online data sets.
  • Science Buddies has a comprehensive database of science inquiry topics, which can be filtered by difficulty. Advanced projects could make a great starting point for a Science Extension project. Check out this list of Genetics and Genomics related project ideas
  • The  Malaria and the Human Genome activity from DNA to Darwin models the use of Chi Square tests on genomic data
  • Looking for data to analyse? NCBI has a wealth of public databases full of genetic information.  Color Data is an easy-to-use graphical interface providing access to data from a company that performs genetic tests for cancer risk.