Bring Our Children to Work Day

Apr 23, 2015

Misheel, 11, follows closely the protocol to purify DNAMisheel, 11, follows closely the protocol for how to get DNA out of the cells BOCW is a whole day event, organized every year by the University of Toronto, when university employees can show their kids in grades 4-7 what mom or dad (or both) do all day when they go to work. It also allows children to explore future career opportunities in a fun way, tailored to their age.

At the Donnelly Centre, the kids get to learn about some of the cutting-edge biomedical science that happens here every day.  This year, 20 youngsters and eight parents participated in the event organized by Dr. Christine Misquitta with the help from amazing Donnelly graduate students, who never pass up the opportunity to share their contagious enthusiasm for science!

The day started with Christine’s captivating presentation on what the DNA is and how it makes us all unique. The presentation also included an overview of different research fields that our scientists work in. Finally, the kids learned the language of the DNA, and showed their newly gained proficiency by successfully decoding a message written in it.

But the real fun began when the kids got some real, hands-on experience in molecular biology. Everyone successfully purified their own DNA, out of cells scraped form the insides of their cheeks, and left home wearing it safely stored in a necklace pendant.

But not everyone’s trophy, lasted. Once she came home, 11 year old Misheel could not wait to show the DNA when she got home to her younger sister Anun, 4, who accidentally spilled it. Bad luck can also be part of lab work - one more lesson Misheel got to learn first hand. Luckily, she can’t wait to return next year to build on her lab skills.

For more photos, visit our Flickr gallery.