St. Boniface Biolab gives Manitoba kids a hands-on scientific experience

Steve Jones works with students at the Youth Biolab.
Steve Jones works with students at the Youth Biolab. St. Boniface Hospital Research

Friday marks the annual Radiothon of Hope & Healing, in support of the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, and presented by Vickar Automotive Group.

It’s an event 680 CJOB is proud to participate in, and to highlight healthcare workers delivering life-saving patient care and ground-breaking medical research at St. Boniface Hospital.

One of those exciting projects is the Youth Biolab at the hospital’s Albrechtson Research Centre.

Biolab director Steve Jones told 680 CJOB the goal of his project is to get kids involved in learning hands-on science in a real, functioning lab environment — the only state-of-the-art student lab in a world-class medical institution in the country.

“At the Albrechtson Research Centre, we’re right next to the hospital,” said Jones. “We do all kinds of incredible research — cardiovascular science, neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and also food research.

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“The lab that I run here, we share it with the public… our goal is to put kids from Grade 5 all the way to Grade 12 in touch with the research that goes on here at St. B, and actually get them hands-on doing some of the things that our scientists do upstairs.”

Jones said in a normal, non-pandemic year, the lab sees upwards of 4,000 students from across the province — with a high of more than 4,500 participating in 2019.

Read more: St. Boniface Hospital Foundation Vickar Goes Virtual Radiothon of Hope and Healing

“How do we take all the things that we learn about health… how do we share that with our community?

“If we can have a more health-literate and scientifically literate population — if people can understand their health a little bit more, then maybe that comes and helps the hospital down the road somewhere.

“The best place to start is with kids.”

Jones said the goal is to make science engaging and fun, but also to do real, serious work — something he said the kids gravitate to easily.

“They ask these sophisticated scientific questions, and they know how to find the answers, too,” he said.

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A Radiothon donation helps the Hospital provide urgent care for babies in Neonatal Intensive Care, offer critical support to patients coping with mental illnesses, and give cardiac care to thousands in need of life-saving measures.

Donate now (choose Radiothon of Hope & Healing 2020 from menu) or by calling 204-237-7647.

Click to play video 'HSC Foundation Hope to Life Radiothon: Lisa’s Story' HSC Foundation Hope to Life Radiothon: Lisa’s Story
HSC Foundation Hope to Life Radiothon: Lisa’s Story – Jan 22, 2020