Gene Technology Access Centre Excursion

On Thursday 29 May, a selected ten science students from years 10 and 11 at Salesian College were privileged enough to participate in the ‘Making Connections’ program with other selected Melbourne schools.

This program revolved around the importance of neuroscience, and how it is helping to understand behaviour and health. It was held at the state of art, Gene Technology Access Centre (GTAC) and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health.

The first workshop studied motor neurone disease, where the boys used electrophoresis and light microscopy to identify and investigate gene mutations for motor neurone disease.

The second workshop studied alcohol addiction, where the boys used spectrophotometry to determine possible drugs to treat addiction, later discussing why people can get addicted.

The final workshop was a tour of the ‘Brain Centre’ at the Florey Institute. The informative tour observed techniques including histology, tissue processing (including seeing an actual human brain!) and PET scanning, and how they help understand and attempt to treat brain disorders.

The program was very informative, engaging and hands-on, giving the boys the opportunity to use important scientific equipment, not found in your ordinary school science lab. All boys participated with great interest, making the opportunity very rewarding and worthwhile.

On behalf of the students who participated, I would like to thank Ms Richardson, Head of Science, for giving us this exciting opportunity, and Miss Rapson for accompanying us on the day.

Luis Mascaro Year 11.