Grade 11-12 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 the Grade 11-12 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 have completed Grade 11 or 12.

Date BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE STREAM TECHNOLOGY STREAM
July 8-12 Biotechnology in Human Health and Disease Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning
July 15-19 CRISPR: Hacking our DNA and Beyond Cognitive Neuroscience: Research and Design
July 22-26 Fundamentals of Neuroscience Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning

BIOMEDICAL STREAM

Week 1 (July 8 to 12): Biotechnology in Human Health and Disease

Description: Biotechnology involves the deliberate manipulation of biological systems to treat diseases, enhance crop production, process waste material, and create new diagnostic tests. The usage of biotechnology techniques and tools are fundamental to many fields of biomedical research, and involves the manufacturing of various drugs for usage in medicine, such as insulin and interferon. This course aims to provide fundamental concepts and practical applications involved in disease prognosis and treatment of human health. Through hands-on laboratory experiments, students will learn about cloning and clone isolation techniques involving bacteria for usage in inoculation. They will get hands on experience on Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) technique used in the field of biotechnology as a diagnostic tool to detect diseases. They will also learn protein detection and quantification methods commonly used in clinical diagnostic test and drug discovery process. Students will get an opportunity to extract, purify and visualize DNA by manipulating genes of an organism. Overall, this course will provide students insight into biotechnology-based methods used by scientists in the field of human health and medicine.

Instructor: Dr. Uzma Nadeem

Week 2 (July 15 to 19): CRISPR: Hacking our DNA and Beyond

Description: Biological information is coded in our DNA, which results in the production of proteins to perform biological processes. Scientists have always dreamed about hacking the coded information to change our body characteristics, treat genetic diseases and cancer and to make us resistant to infectious diseases. An emerging technology CRISPR/Cas9 have made it much easier to perform such targeted gene changes and has the potential of redesigning the human race. This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the theory behind gene editing and its potential implications in medicine, agriculture and biotechnology. Through a review of literature and discussions, students will learn about ethical and safety questions around the use of such technologies in humans. Through a hands-on approach, they will learn and explore molecular biological techniques used to perform gene editing in bacteria and more complex systems like human cells. Previous knowledge of DNA sequences will be highly useful.

Instructor: Dr. Kashif Aziz Khan

Week 3 (July 22 to 26): Fundamentals of Neuroscience

Description: This course is designed to introduce students to the field of neuroscience and the future of neuroscience research, and is intended to provide an understanding of the most essential principles of neuroscience. The goal of this course is to give a strong foundational understanding of the human brain and the techniques utilized in recent research. Lectures and activities will cover neuroanatomy and the function of major brain regions, with a focus on the sensory and motor systems that are closely related to our daily activities. Students will also get to apply their knowledge in dissection labs, as well as the chance to visit the Neuroimaging Centre at York University, which is equipped with a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine. MRI is a medical imaging technique which allows for the imaging of the brain, amongst other organs, and is a crucial investigative tool for medical diagnostics and neuroscience research. Students will also be able to experience the MRI process in the scanner as well as learn the basic MRI theory on-site.

Instructor: Bianca Baltaretu

TECHNOLOGY STREAM

Week 1 (July 8 to 12): Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning

Description: This course aims to introduce the basic programming skills of Python, a powerful programming language in computational mathematics, and the basic concepts of machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence. Python is a high-level programming language for both general-purpose programming and artificial intelligence. It stresses code readability and a natural language syntax that allows people to express concepts easily. This strength makes Python a good programming language for Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. This course will also provide a general introduction to computer programming skills to implement the deep neural network (or deep learning) algorithms for practical issues such as image classification, object detection, time-series data processing and natural language processing. This course will cover the basic knowledge and coding skills of Python, and the basic concepts and example codes of implementing machine learning in Python. Students are expected to have finished Grade 10 mathematics and to have basic understanding of functions. Prior knowledge of Python is recommended.

Instructor: Stanley Liang

Week 2 (July 15 to 19): Cognitive Neuroscience: Research and Design

Description: Learn experimental cognitive psychology using the tools of the trade! Each day, students will act as researchers in different labs on campus, designing experiments in small groups, and then testing them out. We will use equipment including eyetrackers, touchscreens, VR goggles, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner, and more. Students will also learn simple programming steps to analyze the data. These practical hands-on sessions will be driven by central concepts in the field of neuroscience that extend from topics such as the components of the brain, the visual and motor systems, and how these are primed and influenced by our environment to make us act the ways in which we act. Over the course of five days, students will get an exposure to a wide range of techniques that will ultimately help to build a strong base of the concepts in the field of neuroscience.

Instructors: Bianca Baltaretu and Dr. Marcus Watson

 

Week 3 (July 22 to 26): Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning

Description: This course aims to introduce the basic programming skills of Python, a powerful programming language in computational mathematics, and the basic concepts of machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence. Python is a high-level programming language for both general-purpose programming and artificial intelligence. It stresses code readability and a natural language syntax that allows people to express concepts easily. This strength makes Python a good programming language for Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. This course will also provide a general introduction to computer programming skills to implement the deep neural network (or deep learning) algorithms for practical issues such as image classification, object detection, time-series data processing and natural language processing. This course will cover the basic knowledge and coding skills of Python, and the basic concepts and example codes of implementing machine learning in Python. Students are expected to have finished Grade 10 mathematics and to have basic understanding of functions. Prior knowledge of Python is recommended.

Instructor: Stanley Liang