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Youth BIOlab Jeunesse

About Youth BIOlab Jeunesse

Biomedical Inquiry & Outreach

Youth BIOLab Jeunesse at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre is a space for students and teachers to explore and experience real biomedical science in a world-class research centre. Come share our passion for discovery!

Boy-BubblesYouth BIOlab Jeunesse was built with support from Manitoba Education, RBC, and the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation and opened its doors to students in Spring 2013. We work in partnership with Manitoba school divisions and with the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to connect St. Boniface Hospital and St-Boniface Hospital Research to classroom learning.

2017/18 Youth BIOlab Activity Report

Supporting Health Literacy through Science Education

Youth BIOlab Jeunesse can host full classes of students for half-day experiences in biomedical science and is modelled on St. Boniface research labs – providing grade 5-12 students with an opportunity to experience the science of health and disease through engaging and authentic hands-on activities. Using basic molecular and cellular biology, DNA work, cell culture, dissections and microscopy, youth will see how their classroom learning connects to current research.

We work with teachers, schools and school divisions to develop programming that meets the needs of classroom teachers. Youth BIOlab Jeunesse is run by Stephen Jones, a certified teacher who began in the Molecular Cardiology Lab at SBRC in 1999. Since 2005, St. Boniface Hospital Research has worked in partnership with the Louis Riel School Division through the It’s All About Me program, which has provided hands-on medical science experiences in classrooms to over 25,000 students. Youth BIOlab Jeunesse extends our reach to students from across Manitoba and enhances our ability to provide authentic science experiences to youth. We operate in partnership with Manitoba school divisions and interested teachers and school divisions can contact us to find out more about how to get involved.

Programming at Youth BIOlab Jeunesse

Boy-LookingYouth BIOlab Jeunesse is designed to connect classroom learning in to the work done at St. Boniface Hospital and St. Boniface Hospital Research through authentic experiences in biomedical science. We provide programming that meets the needs of teachers and students by collaborating with teachers in program development.

There are many ways to connect science and medicine at St. Boniface Hospital to science and health at school. Some representative examples of curriculum connections and BIOlab programming are below. We are always interested in developing new approaches and student experiences with teachers.

Grade Cluster Specific Learning Outcomes Addressed Programming
Grade 4 Science
Cluster 2: Light
Cluster 3: Sound
Experiment with stethoscopes and microscopes to experience how scientists and healthcare workers use sound and light to understand the body.
Grade 5 Science
Cluster 1: Maintaining a Healthy Body


Experience a ‘real’ look inside the body to explore the body’s organ systems with a focus on comparing diseased and healthy systems. Students put together a skeleton, assemble MRI and CT puzzles, view live cells through the microscope and perform a simple heart and lung dissection with a focus on heart disease, diabetes, asthma and cancer.
Grade 6 Health
Healthy Lifestyle Practices
K.5.6.B.1 Examine the causes and effects of stress on the body and heart. Students experiment with an EKG machine and blood pressure monitors to explore how the body experiences stress. They compare their own heart health to that of a sample patient case.
Grade 7 Science
Cluster 1: Particle Theory of Matter
Students perform an extraction of DNA from bacteria. This common molecular biology procedure lets students perform a range of separation techniques using their knowledge of solutions, mixtures and solubility.
Grade 8 Science
Cluster 1: Cells and Systems
Students explore the heart from the whole organism to the cells of the heart, types of cells in the heart, cell specialization and current research. Students perform a basic cell culture technique using live cells to create an understanding of cell specialization and scale. Students also perform a basic pig heart dissection to explore the basis of cardiovascular disease. Students explore neuroscience and neurological disorders from cells to system with a focus on disease and current research at the St-Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. Students model neuron damage in Alzheimer’s disease and isolate the hippocampus from preserved sheep brains

Students view stem cells through the microscope and explore the use of stem cells in basic medical research. Students examine a patient case of aortic valve stenosis and connect it to current stem cell research at the St-Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre with an isolation of aortic valves from pig hearts.

Grade 8 Science
Cluster 2: Optics
8-2–05 Experience how scientists and healthcare workers use light for medical imaging and microscopy using live cells and tissue sections. Students create microscope slides for viewing under different microscopes.Investigate eyes and diseases of the eye with a patient case for diabetes and diabetic retinopathy.
Grade 11 Biology
Unit 3: Transportation and Respiration
Explore the cellular and molecular basis of disease through heart research and heart health, with a focus on current stem cell research at SBRC, microscope work and a detailed heart dissection. Students examine a patient case of aortic valve stenosis and connect it to current stem cell research at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre.
Grade 12 Biology
Part 1: Genetics
Unit 2-Mechanisms of Inheritance
Explore the use of DNA and molecular biology in disease and medical research. Simple genetic engineering experiments with bacteria and DNA restriction digests with gel electrophoresis help students understand how scientists manipulate DNA in heart and brain research at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre.


The Youth BIOlab runs in partnership with Manitoba school divisions. We rely on this partnership model to sustain balanced access to the lab, meet divisional science needs and minimize costs to individual classrooms. Due to the overwhelming demand for programming at the Youth BIOlab, partnered divisions have a set number of days in the school year for their schools and visits are coordinated to meet the needs of schools and teachers. Currently, the Louis Riel School Division, Seine River School Division, Hanover School Division, Winnipeg School Division, Seven Oaks School Division, Red River Valley School Division, Lord Selkirk School Division and Division scolaire franco-manitobaine are partnered with the Youth BIOlab. Please see below for lists of available days for each partner school division. If you would like to learn more about how to get your school division involved, please contact us.


Teacher Information

Information for Visits to Youth BIOlab Jeunesse

A printable information sheet with bus drop-off information, contact information and safety expectations for students is available here: Download PDF

Directions and Bus Drop-Off Information

Youth BIOlab Jeunesse is located in the lower level of the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre at 351 Taché Avenue. (R on the map). The sign on top of the building says “Albrechtson Research Centre” and is right next to the parking lot.

Buses can enter at the lights by the south parking lot/emergency entrance. Buses can turn around in front of the Asper Clinical Research Building (CR) and pull up in front of the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre (R) to let students off.

Student Safety and Behaviour Expectations

Girl-WavingThe St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre is a basic medical research facility. This means that our research laboratories use biohazards, radiation and hazardous chemicals in our daily work. Classes visiting Youth BIOlab Jeunesse will not be entering any research labs as part of their visit to the BIOlab, however there are general safety guidelines that must be followed when in the building and in the BIOlab itself.

The BIOlab is modeled upon the medical research labs at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. Although every effort is made to minimize risks to students, the nature of the space is such that it contains potentially hazardous equipment and materials. All students will receive a safety orientation prior to entering the BIOlab, but we also ask that teachers address the following guidelines with students prior to your visit:

  • Safety rules must be followed: the BIOlab is under the same safety rules and regulations as all of our research labs
  • Follow all instructions carefully, ask questions if you don’t understand instructions
  • Do not touch anything in the lab or building unless instructed
  • Students with long hair should have it tied back for the visit
  • Appropriate clothing must be worn: no shorts or sandals, closed-toed footwear should be worn (we will have disposable booties available for the winter boot months)
  • Noise and behaviour: We share our space with a library! Usual indoor voices aren’t a problem, but this is part of a working building and we do need to be aware of those around us


Following your visit to Youth BIOlab Jeunesse, we would appreciate your feedback. This will help us ensure that we are meeting the needs of teachers and students and will help us further develop our programming for learners.

Click here to take survey.


Live Cell Video

Visible Human Heart and Heart Valves

Health and Physics Imaging Videos

Heart Sounds


Thanks for coming to visit Youth BIOlab Jeunesse! We hope you enjoyed your time at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. We want to know what you thought about it, so please help us out by filling in a short survey about your time at the BIOlab.

Click here to take survey.

Contact Information

Youth BIOlab Jeunesse
RL016-351 Taché Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
R2H 2A6
t: (204) 237-2809
f: (204) 235-0793

Youth BIOlab Jeunesse Coordinator:
Steve Jones
Teaching Liaison
St. Boniface Hospital Research

Panoramic of the Youth BIOlab Jeunesse