Donnelly Centre 2019 Science Public Outreach

2019 was a busy year for the Donnelly Centre Science Outreach!

In March, we welcomed 30 students, in grades 10-12, through Step Into STEM, an organization that seeks to provide STEM learning opportunities for youth from underrepresented groups. The students visited the Andrews, Morris and Roy labs where they learned about yeast genetics, artificial intelligence and drug discovery. For more pictures from this event, visit our photo gallery.


step into stemstep into stem visit to the donnelly centre on march 14, 2019.


Also in March, Samantha Yammine from the van der Kooy team teamed up with the Visions of Science Network for Learning, an organization that champions STEM among youth in low-income and marginalized communities, to give 20 students, ages 8-13, a tour of her lab and tell them about their stem cell research.

"Many participants stated on the way home that they wanted to be scientists when they grew up," - Rachel Salt, Program Facilitator, Visions of Science Network For Learning


girlsParticipants at Bring Our Children to Work Day


On May 2, the Donnelly Centre participated in Bring Our Children to Work Day, which gathered  25 of our employees’ kids, in grades 4-12. Organized by Christine Misquitta, formerly from the Sidhu lab, the event was an opportunity for the students to learn about DNA biology through hands on experiments and other activities. The photo on the right shows two beaming teenagers showing off neck pendants containing the DNA isolated from their own mouth cells.




yeast plates

In May, we also took our science outdoors for Science Rendezvous, a national all-day celebration of science, which at U of T takes place along St George street. Among the many science and educational props, for this year’s theme of Science and Art, we had the masterpieces of Leonardo da Vinci and Banksy redone in yeast by Matej Usaj and Bryan-Joseph San Luis from the Boone and Andrews labs. The visitors to our booth also had a chance to paint with lab tools such as liquid droppers on a blank canvas that resembled a Jackson Pollock piece by the end of the day. For more Science Rendezvous pictures, visit our photo gallery.

Sci rezScientists-in-the-making in front of a lab photo backdrop and a girl painting with a liquid dropper.



While our outreach program primarily focuses on innovate canadaInnovate Canada conference-goers touring the Donnelly Centre. Canadian youth, we also hosted 40 government officials, as well as Canadian and international enterpreneurs and other stake holders in the life sciences sector who toured the Centre during the Innovate Canada conference, which took place in Toronto from May 21-24, 2019. Patricia Mero from the Moffat lab gave the visitors an oveview of research in the Donnelly Centre, after which they were shown the automated cell genetics and imaging plthe atforms in the Andrews and Boone labs and the three dimensional muscle tissue culturing system developed by the Gilbert lab.



girls in the labGrade 6 students from Norway Public school doing experiments in the Donnelly Centre.


On June 12, 45 students in grade 6 from Norway Public School visited the Centre for a day to learn about biology, through hands on activities, including isolating DNA from cells, yeast mating and guessing the function of mutated genes in C. elegans worms based on their behavior. For more pictures from Norway PS' visit, go here.




In the summer, the Donnelly Centre formally launched a formal summer program to provide research experience to undergraduate students that you can more read about here.

We look forward to future opportunities to help instill curiosity and excitement about science among our youngest citizens!

If you are interested in science-learning opportunities in the Donnelly Centre, we would love to hear from you. Or you can visit the Donnelly Centre Youth Science Outreach page on our website.

Follows us on LinkedIn and Twitter to keep up with Donnelly Centre news.