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Youth BIOlab Jeunesse

2020-2021 Planning

September 2020

Together with all of our friends in the education community, we are looking towards a very different school year in 2020-2021. The Youth BIOlab is still committed to supporting student and teacher engagement with health science. The challenges of the pandemic response and associated public health measures will certainly impact our ability to offer our full range of programming, especially since our work centres around experiential learning in a high-touch environment. After reading divisional plans, consulting with leadership at the Research Centre and communicating with teachers in recent weeks, we are charting a course that we hope can support your teaching while meeting public health guidelines. The strength of our partnership model lies in the relationships we have with teachers in our partner divisions, and we hope we can continue to work with you to navigate the new teaching reality and develop new experiences that can be helpful and keep students engaged with current medical science. We hope to provide content for grades 5-12 with special attention to supporting ‘at-home’ learning days for senior years science.

Our lab facility and meeting room can safely accommodate 15 students under current public health regulations, and we don’t feel that we can responsibly operate our typical activities in classrooms where we would be travelling between schools, classes and cohorts on a daily basis.

For the remainder of the 2020 calendar year, we feel that our best course of action is to offer a hybrid model that can meet the needs of teachers at multiple grade levels:

  • Online/virtual field trip component that can both support middle years science and be a resource for senior years science on their ‘at-home’ days.
  • Tentative, based on divisional and public health guidelines on field trips – Small-group in-person Youth BIOlab experiences at the Albrechtsen Research Centre for senior years sciences where divisional and school guidelines allow for field trips.

We are still working logistics and waiting on confirmation from several school divisions on whether they wish to proceed this year. Detailed information on booking, online experiences, activities and videos will be posted here by mid-September. Feel free to get in touch with Steve or Meghan to express interest and offer any insights or suggestions for how we can support your science teaching this year.

What you can expect to see from the Youth BIOlab this year:

Online component

Healthy Curiosity – YouTube video series

  • Prerecorded video on a range of topics across grade levels. Brain, heart, and lung dissections, microscopes, cells, diabetes and blood sugar, nutrients, germs, masks, DNA and more to come!
  • Available to all with associated activities, worksheets etc. available to teachers in partner school divisions.

Live video sessions

  • Monthly calendar of live-streamed video from the Youth BIOlab, streamed on YouTube Live and archived on our YouTube channel.
  • Aimed at supporting Grade 11 and 12 at-home learning days with guided reading, Q&A sessions, quick lab technique demonstrations, technology demonstrations, meet-a-scientist sessions.
  • Available to all with linked activities available to teachers in partner school divisions:

Interactive video

  • Single class two-way video chat through MS Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, depending on the divisional platform.
  • Live “virtual field trip” to include meet-a-scientist chats, dissections, lab demonstrations
  • Multi-day experimental design sessions where possible
  • Restricted to teachers in partner school divisions, Grade 5-12, pre-booked and scheduled based on calendar offerings

Youth BIOlab experiences

Tentative based on school and divisional guidelines for field trips. Each partner school division will receive a set number of two-day blocks at the Youth BIOlab for 15 students at a time from high schools in the division. Students will have to adhere to the Albrechtsen Research Centre screening, sanitization and distancing requirements when in the building, and medical masks will be provided. On a school-by-school basis, these two-day blocks could be split between the groupings of senior years classes or designated as a special learning opportunity for a group of interested students, students seeking enhanced science experiences, or students from groups underrepresented in medical science.

We are lucky to have worked with so many enthusiastic educators over many years, and we look forward to navigating this year with you. We see this as an opportunity to challenge ourselves to come up with creative solutions that can provide students with experiences they might not be able to have at school/home under current conditions and we hope that we can be a resource for teachers through this time.

Please check back through September as planning continues. All the best for the school year!

Stephen Jones
Director, Youth BIOlab
August 2020

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!

Youth 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.

Youth BIOlab Activity Report 2020

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.

La Liberté Sciences Mag Junior

You can download a digital release of La Liberté Sciences Mag Junior in English or French

This was a collaborative effort with the Youth BIOlab and La Liberté to speak to the sense of community solidarity in the fight against COVID-19 and providing our children with the most accurate information in a format that is easy to understand and share with their families.

La Librete Sciences Mag Covers



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. 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 and pull up in front of the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre to let students off.

SBRC Youth BIOlab Visit Info Sheet

Student Safety and Behaviour Expectations

The 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 modelled 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: 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.

Teacher 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.

Student Survey

It’s All About Me (IAAM)

Bringing the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre to the Community

St. Boniface Hospital Research has demonstrated a commitment to bringing the ideas and expertise of the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre out into our community. By extending ourselves beyond the walls of the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre, we aim to:

  • Connect the public to research in their community
  • Broaden public awareness of the roles of St. Boniface Hospital and St. Boniface Hospital Research
  • Share our research and passion for science
  • Create an understanding of the nature of science and the science behind health
  • Contribute to scientific and health literacy within the public
  • Demonstrate the contribution of our research programs to society
  • Make science education and expertise accessible for the students, teachers and the general public

Through the efforts of several principal investigators, the St. Boniface Hospital Research staff, and with the support of the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, we have been actively involved in designing and implementing various outreach programs throughout the city, with a special focus on the Hospital’s local community.

Partnering With Our Community: It’s All About Me


A significant part of our school program began in 2005, through a unique partnership with the Louis Riel School Division (LRSD). Along with classroom teachers and school administrators, we developed a formal outreach initiative designed to connect our work at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre with the science that students learn in class. The name of this program, It’s All About Me, reflects the idea that the health science and medicine of St. Boniface Hospital have a personal connection to students and their science learning. Louis Riel contains 37 elementary and high schools in the St. Boniface and St. Vital neighbourhoods, and together we developed and implemented programs that now reach over

4000 students per year. Steve Jones, a former technician in the Molecular Cardiology Lab and a certified teacher, has led this initiative from the SBRC side, and has worked with teachers, administrators and SBRC staff to bring everything from cells and DNA to diabetes and cardiovascular disease out to our community schools. We strive for a hands-on, interactive and curriculum-based ‘scientist-in-residence’ approach that goes beyond a ‘guest speaker’ to actively involve students, parents and teachers in the work of the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre.

Combined with the support of St. Boniface Hospital Research and the Louis Riel School Division, the It’s All About Me partnership has received a three-year Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada PromoScience grant to continue this unique initiative. By the end of the 2009-2010 school year, we have brought the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre out to every school in LRSD and beyond and hopefully made connections that raise both interest and understanding of the work we do throughout our community.

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