Grade 9-10 Helix Courses

Thank you for a successful summer 2019 season! We look forward to seeing you next year in 2020! Course details and registration information for Summer 2020 will be available in Spring 2020. Please check back in March for details. For details of 2019's offerings, see below.

Below you will find Grade 9-10 Helix courses offered for Summer 2019. Please go to Apply to Helix for more information on how to apply.

Courses are organized into thematic streams, allowing participants to focus on one area of inquiry for all three weeks. Students wishing a broader exposure to topics are free to pick different courses from any stream across the three weeks. These courses are designed for students who are going into grade 9 or have completed Grade 9 or 10. There are no prerequisites for any course.

Date BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE STREAM TECHNOLOGY STREAM
July 8-12 Biological Chemistry: Cracking the Chemical Code of Life Climate Change: The Biology, Chemistry and Physics of a Dynamic Planet
July 15-19 Medical Pharmacology Blood-Borne Diseases
July 22-26 Blood-Borne Diseases Climate Change: The Biology, Chemistry and Physics of a Dynamic Planet

BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE STREAM

Week 1 (July 8 to 12): Biological Chemistry: Cracking the Chemical Code of Life

Description: Each of our cells contain a copy of our genes, which is inherited from our parents and makes us who we are. There are more than 20,000 human genes which contain the instructions for our body characteristics (ex. eye color or hair color). Genes are made of DNA, and most genes produce specific proteins to perform a specific biological function. This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of basic concepts of flow of information from chemical code in DNA to body functions. In addition, they will learn how the use of biochemical and molecular biological techniques is revolutionizing multiple fields including medicine, agriculture and crime investigation. Through a hands-on approach, students will get the opportunity to express a gene of glowing protein in bacteria to make them glow. Moreover, they will learn techniques to analyze and manipulate DNA and protein.

Instructor: Dr. Kashif Aziz Khan

Week 2 (July 15 to 19): Medical Pharmacology

Description: Medicine has the ability to stop, cure, or prevent diseases and illnesses. The usage of medication is an everyday occurrence for most people, with millions of tablets and syrups being consumed by humans on a daily basis to treat a variety of health disorders. The science behind how medications function and how are they are designed is not as commonly understood. Have you ever wondered about what bioactive substances are used in the treatment of human diseases? What happens to medication once it enters our body? What is the mechanism of action of most over the counter drugs? These are the types of questions that will be answered in this course. Students will get an opportunity to get hands-on experience on screening of agents used for therapeutics, antibiotic resistance and its efficacy, drug synthesis and its quantification, and preparation of medicated drugs. Through laboratory experiments, students will learn a plate based assay called Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and detect antibodies and hormones in the simulated disease conditions samples. Furthermore, students will learn drug calculations, routes of drug administration and absorption, pharmacokinetics, and in-vivo and in-vitro models for drug studies. Overall, this course will provide students insight into principles and techniques used in drug preparation, administration and absorption in the human body to cure diseases.

Instructor: Dr. Uzma Nadeem

Week 3 (July 22 to 26): Blood-Borne Diseases

Description: The yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti is a known vector for pathogens that cause a number of blood-borne diseases, such as Zika virus, Dengue, and chikungunya. This course examines the importance of mosquito physiological processes, underlying cellular mechanisms, and neuroendocrine factors that regulate critical processes, such as feeding, excretion and reproduction. As a result, students can engage themselves in neuroendocrinology through this hands-on approach to learning. Students will be able to dissect mosquitos to examine the different tissues, run DNA gels for receptor localization, and conduct experiments to measure fluid secretion rates. Understanding the biology of the mosquito will allow for better analysis for new medical advances and research for future vaccinations against a host of deadly illnesses.

Instructor: Aryan Lajevardi and Farwa Sajadi

TECHNOLOGY STREAM

Week 1 (July 8 to 12): Climate Change: The Biology, Chemistry and Physics of a Dynamic Planet

Description: Planet Earth is a dynamic, living world. From the microscopic to the terrestrial, there is a symphony of biology, chemistry and physics describing the connection between all its residents. In the midst of a changing atmosphere, these patterns will evolve in ways we have yet to fully understand. There is a great need for scientific minds with a mastery of many fields to address our future challenges. In this course, students will build the necessary skills to be an Earth Scientist from a multidisciplinary background. We will learn about the elaborate chemistry of the skies and oceans that drives climate change. Laboratory experiments will include the colorful laser physics of satellite instruments and testing the acidification of water from a local ecosystem. You will conduct your own outdoor field study investigating pollution on campus and learn how to code your geoscientific data into Google Earth. We will also learn how to access real-world satellite data from NASA (and others) in order to study biosphere cycles from space. The course will conclude with a field trip to see scientists in action at Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Instructor: Sabour Baray

Week 2 (July 15 to 19): Blood-Borne Diseases

Description: The yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti is a known vector for pathogens that cause a number of blood-borne diseases, such as Zika virus, Dengue, and chikungunya. This course examines the importance of mosquito physiological processes, underlying cellular mechanisms, and neuroendocrine factors that regulate critical processes, such as feeding, excretion and reproduction. As a result, students can engage themselves in neuroendocrinology through this hands-on approach to learning. Students will be able to dissect mosquitos to examine the different tissues, run DNA gels for receptor localization, and conduct experiments to measure fluid secretion rates. Understanding the biology of the mosquito will allow for better analysis for new medical advances and research for future vaccinations against a host of deadly illnesses.

Instructor: Aryan Lajevardi and Farwa Sajadi

Week 3 (July 22 to 26): Climate Change: The Biology, Chemistry and Physics of a Dynamic Planet

Description: Planet Earth is a dynamic, living world. From the microscopic to the terrestrial, there is a symphony of biology, chemistry and physics describing the connection between all its residents. In the midst of a changing atmosphere, these patterns will evolve in ways we have yet to fully understand. There is a great need for scientific minds with a mastery of many fields to address our future challenges. In this course, students will build the necessary skills to be an Earth Scientist from a multidisciplinary background. We will learn about the elaborate chemistry of the skies and oceans that drives climate change. Laboratory experiments will include the colorful laser physics of satellite instruments and testing the acidification of water from a local ecosystem. You will conduct your own outdoor field study investigating pollution on campus and learn how to code your geoscientific data into Google Earth. We will also learn how to access real-world satellite data from NASA (and others) in order to study biosphere cycles from space. The course will conclude with a field trip to see scientists in action at Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Instructor: Sabour Baray