Dear STEM ambassadors,

I hope you are all keeping safe and well.

Would you be interested in supporting a bioinformatics project for secondary school students?

EMBL's ELLS [] education team are working with a UK teacher who has developed an 8-week extra-curricular bioinformatics course for her Year 11 and Year 13 (15-18 year old) high school students who are being taught virtually due to COVID-19.

The course will cover content beyond the biology curriculum encouraging students to expand their interest by exploring the field of bioinformatics and current scientific research. Over the first four weeks students receive a practical introduction to bioinformatics, including demonstrations of some of the most important open bioinformatics databases and how to use them. In the second part of the course, which will run in June, students are asked to explore their own research question(s) which can be tackled using bioinformatics approaches. 

We are looking for bioinformaticians who would like to support the research project by submitting project ideas for the students to pick from. Things to bear in mind when considering project ideas:
1. The research question should be relevant to current life sciences research.
2. Students should be able to answer it by reading background literature and using bioinformatics tools.
3. The research project should take them 12 hours (spread over 4 weeks).
4. Students benefit hugely from engaging with scientists, to add to the experience for them and to further support their project it would be great if they could submit questions to you while they are working on the project or to show you their research outcomes at the end, these communications would be moderated and co-ordinated by ELLS, the students would not contact you directly.

Inclusion of a research project has been inspired by BEDROCK [], a bioinformatics education forum, if you need some inspiration check out their submitted research projects [] for ideas.

If you are interested or would like more information get in touch with Eva Haas at ELLS or Fran Gale of Connecting Science.

If you have a project idea please submit it, using the template attached, by 10:00 Monday, 8 June.

Once fully developed, the plan is to make this course available to other teachers in Europe. Contributions from anyone submitting a project idea will be acknowledged when the course is published.

Best wishes

Briony Jackson

Public Engagement Officer, European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI)
Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, CB10 1SD United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1223 492 648 

Web: [] | Twitter: @EMBLEBI | Facebook: [] | LinkedIn: []

My usual working days are Monday - Wednesday.