Wesley College Melbourne Australia
Wesley College Melbourne

Biology students apply DNA technology at GTAC

Posted 18 August 2017

Wesley College Biology GTAC excursion

Our VCE Biology students had an engaging excursion to the Gene Technology Access Centre (GTAC) to learn more about applying genetic knowledge in prenatal and predictive genetic testing. GTAC provides an innovative and collaborative educational environment to learn about life sciences. Students had the opportunity to work on case studies, meet scientists, and be mentored while applying DNA technologies.

Our Biology students share their thoughts about the program:


We had the opportunity to become involved in the interactive learning of the cell cycle process. We were introduced to new terminology as well as having the chance to look at karyotypes. We were given a number of scenarios in which we had to gather information about the infant's genes based on their parents genetics.

The most interesting thing that I took away from the excursion was the part in which we learnt about newborn screening and had the opportunity to use equipment from laboratories. I enjoyed being able to look at results from genetic testing to try and determine whether or not the infant has a genetic disorder.

This excursion has made me more certain that I want to pursue a career in the medical industry. The trip opened my eyes and introduced me to issues that newborns and their families face based on their genetic information. The idea of newborn screening is to detect mutations easily to help with family planning. In the future I wish to become a doctor and the trip to GTAC has made me more sure of my decision.

Wesley College Biology GTAC excursion

Wesley College Biology GTAC excursion


The excursion was about understanding and further expanding our knowledge about the process of meiosis. This was done by investigating what can occur if meiosis goes wrong, as well as actually experiencing genetic testing firsthand.

The most interesting thing I learnt from the excursion was how to investigate what diseases are possible or likely within a generation or family. It has given me insight into possible future career choices if I were to continue doing Biology.


I attended a Biology excursion to compete within the Victorian High School Cancer Challenge. The aim of this challenge was to win an internship as part of the Olivia Newton-John Foundation. Throughout the course of the day, I was privileged to listen to cancer researchers talk about their work, as well as what they were working towards.

In addition, I had the opportunity to listen to past cancer patients and how they dealt with such a terrible disease. I left this excursion with an open mind into the world of science. I am sincerely grateful for such a beneficial experience, and the knowledge I gained from it will remain with me in the future.

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