Engaging with schools

Today's school students will be the decision-makers of the future. A sound education in genetics and genomics will support them in making future healthcare and lifestyle decisions as genomics research becomes integrated into mainstream medicine.

Working closely with teachers and schools, we strive to provide an inspiring and sound education in genetics and genomics. Raising the skills and aspirations of young people will enable them to contribute to the social and ethical discussions around genomic medicine and become the scientists of the future.

We offer continuing professional development for science teachers and provide engaging resources to enrich the teaching of genetics in schools.

Teacher CPD training at Sanger

Teacher CPD training at Sanger


What we do with schools

Our schools programme engages teachers, students and school communities with genomics and the technologies used to analyse genetic information and whole genomes. The programme discusses the role of genomics in understanding disease and developing therapies as well as its ethical and social impact.

Teacher training opportunities

Tailored for science teachers of GCSE and post-16 students, our continuing professional development (CPD) introduces the science, concepts and challenges of genomics. Teachers experience how science works in an active research institute and get the unique opportunity to talk with our world-leading genome scientists. Find out about their latest research discoveries and how they are influencing disease prediction, diagnosis and treatment.

Our CPD sessions link Sanger science directly with school curricula and include:

  • updates on contemporary genetics/genomics from Sanger Institute scientists
  • introduction and training on engaging resources developed by the Sanger Institute to teach genetics and genomics
  • a tour of the Sanger Institute introducing the latest technologies used in modern genomics and the IT infrastructure for storing and analysing large amounts of genomic data.

Genomes Lite

Would you like to hear about the latest genomic research and be introduced to new classroom resources? Genomes Lite is a new series of twilight sessions on genomics for teachers hosted by the Sanger Institute.

For further information about organising a bespoke CPD day for a group of teachers or an in-service training (INSET) day for your science department please email pubengage@sanger.ac.uk.

School group finding cancer mutations

School group finding cancer mutations


Teaching resources

We work with teachers, science education experts and our scientists to develop classroom resources on genetics and genomics. These tried and tested teaching resources cover topics that relate to the national curriculum and our research. These resources can be downloaded for free from our website yourgenome.orgWhy not try our resources in your lessons? Topics covered include:

  • how DNA is sequenced
  • genetics of bacterial pathogens such as MRSA and Salmonella
  • biology of the malaria parasite
  • genetics of cancer
  • human variation in health and disease
  • use of model organisms in genome research.

Check out our latest school resource Malaria Challenge at yourgenome.org!

Group of students discussing ethical issues

Group of students discussing ethical issues


Ethical discussion activities

Genomic research is progressing at a fast pace and is already improving clinical care. We all share the information in our genome with our families and relatives. Knowledge of our genetic identity and predisposition to disease may change the way we look at ourselves and our health. Exploring the ethical issues of genomic information and research is important for all sections of society as it affects us all.

We develop materials to open dialogues on the ethical and societal issues of genomics. Our materials enable teachers and their students to engage with bioethical issues and explore differing opinions.

Genome generation is a card-based discussion activity. It facilitates discussion of ethical dilemmas that may arise through whole genome sequencing and a person finding out about information in their DNA. It has been developed in partnership with Graphic Science and evaluated by the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education and EU Pathway. It is now available for free from yourgenome.org.

You can receive regular updates on our education programme and resources as well as the latest genomics news. To subscribe, follow the 'Education Update' link in the Related Links box.


The Franklin Centre for Public Engagement
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute,
Wellcome Trust Genome Campus,
CB10 1SA

Phone: +44(0)1223 496995
Fax: +44(0)1223 494919

Email: pubengage@sanger.ac.uk

Please download an overview of the Public Engagement programme.

* quick link - http://q.sanger.ac.uk/r112ywci