Biochemistry Department Outreach

photo of protein gelIn 1995, the Department of Biochemistry at Western and secondary-school biology teachers in London and area formed a collaborative project called Outreach Science Ontario. This project facilitated hands-on teaching labs in the high schools using a protocol titled Biotechnology in the Classroom. Since then, advances in technology and a clearer understanding of applications for these processes have meant the program needed to evolve.

In the fall of 2016, the project was recreated and reinvented by high-school teachers themselves. Backed by technical support from researchers in the Department of Biochemistry, Mary Kay Macdonald of Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School developed new experiments. “DNA Fingerprinting – a crime scene investigation” uses PCR experiments tailored to fit with senior Biology levels of the science curriculum. Local schools are given access to equipment (a loan) necessary to complete the experiments, and the cost of the reagents has been streamlined.

If you are interested in participating in this project please contact either Antonella Witmer ( or Mary Kay Macdonald ( to book a loan for your school.