Francis Logan

Francis Logan

Minister for Energy; Resources; Industry and Enterprise

    One box and you are a biotech genius

    1/07/2008 12:00 AM

    A new initiative has been launched to help teachers educate and excite students about DNA, gene technology, stem cells, cloning and other aspects of biotechnology.


    Industry and Enterprise Minister Francis Logan said the ‘Biotech Out of the Box’ program for science teachers would give life to the new biotechnology curriculum in Western Australian schools.


    “The program will provide a quick, easy, effective and portable solution to improve science teachers’ understanding and knowledge of biotechnology,” Mr Logan said. 


    “It is literally a box, filled with practical tools that allow teachers to undertake hands-on activities and experimental learning with their students.


    “The boxes will be rotated between science teachers at metropolitan and regional schools over the next two years - reaching about 150 State Government and 80 private schools.


    “It will make a big impact on the confidence of teachers to teach biotechnology, while boosting student knowledge and interest in biotechnology.” 


    Biotechnology is a key component of the human biological science courses of study to be introduced in WA high schools in 2009.


    Murdoch University biotechnology program chair Carolyn Jones said teachers would be provided with training so they could become confident and competent in using the boxes.


    “Teachers will be able to demonstrate biotechnology laboratory procedures using science equipment they may not have had access to previously,” Ms Jones said.


    “Teachers will also be involved in professional development opportunities that will provide further biotechnology information and tools that can also be used in the classroom, as well as broaden teacher networks with scientists, the research community and industry.”


    Mr Logan said the program would complement the State’s involvement in one of the biggest biotechnology competitions in the United States, the BioGENEius Challenge.  WA had become the first international participant in this competition.


    For more information on the program or to register, you should contact Ms Jones on 9360 2159 or


    Minister's office - 9222 8950