Genomics in Education  
    Bioinformatics LabResearch Explorations in GenomicsGenomics in Education, S.C.R. Elgin  

Genome Sequencing Center Video Tour

Sequencing a Genome: Inside the Washington University Genome Sequencing Center is a tour of the Washington University Genome Sequencing Center that follows the steps in the sequencing pipeline with animated explanations of the scientific procedures used at the facility. The video segments include:

  • A guided tour of the Washington University Genome Sequencing Center (GSC), providing a look at the labs and offices that make up the preparation, production, and data management facilities. Includes animated explanations of the processes used to sequence genomic DNA

  • Exploration of current genomic research in pathogenic bacteria through an interview with a molecular microbiologist.

  • Information about careers available at the Center presented through interviews with actual employees.

  • An animated explanation of the chemistry of cycle sequencing

The Sequencing a Genome video is available online. The video clips and supplemental materials are available for download on the GSC Tour Materials page.

Educational Context

Prior Knowledge

The video was created for advanced high school or undergraduate students and assumes that students already have a basic understanding of gel electrophoresis. The processes of bacterial transformation, PCR, and DNA sequencing are described in the video with animations, but previous or accompanying laboratory experience with these processes will be helpful for deeper understanding.

Suggested Labs Available for Download

The labs available on the GSC Tour Materials page will help provide the needed context and background for the Genome Sequencing Center Tour video in both high school and college classrooms.

GSC Tour Materials for Download

The tour videos and associated materials below are copyright © 2004, Washington University in St. Louis. Teachers may copy materials as needed for classroom use.

The complete tour videos and supplemental information are available on the GSC Tour Materials page.


The tour has been assessed by asking college students and high school teachers to fill out questionnaires asking whether the video was easy to follow, whether it increased understanding of specific topics, etc. Initial feedback data shows that our goals for creating a video that introduces students to genome sequencing and is interesting and understandable have been met. However, the data also indicate that the video is more beneficial to students who have at least a basic background in genetics.

Among college students, feedback was obtained from a) students who were enrolled in the biology introductory sequence, all majoring in biology or a closely related field of study (the primary target audience this video was created to reach), b) non-science majors enrolled in a course on DNA Science, and c) advanced undergraduates majoring in biology, all juniors or seniors enrolled in an upper-level biology course in genomics. All three groups responded similarly, with at least an average of 3.9 ± 0.8 (on a scale of 1 — 5) that the video was easy to follow. Responses were even higher (from 4.25 — 4.7 on a scale from 1 — 5) that the video helped them understand the activities at a genome sequencing center. However, the introductory undergraduates were less likely to find the video interesting (3.4) than the advanced undergraduates (4.3). The non-science major students were also not as likely to find that the video helped them to understand the science of genome sequencing (3.0) as the undergraduates who were biology majors, who answered with an average of 4.0 and 4.25 to the same statement. In comparing the different groups of students, we found that all of the students responded positively, but that the biology majors found the video more interesting than did non-science majors. We find that students with various levels of genomic science background are able to follow and gain understanding from the video.

High school teachers were asked if they felt that the video would be useful in their classes and understandable and interesting to their students, again responding to a series of statements on a scale of 1 — 5 with "1" representing no agreement and "5" representing complete agreement. Teachers agreed with statements that the video was at an appropriate level for their advanced biology students (average 4.0), that their students would find the video interesting (averages 3.8), and that the video would help their students understand the science of genomic sequencing (4.4). However, the teachers also felt that they would need to prepare their students before having them view the video, and would need to stop the video periodically to offer further explanation of some of the concepts to their students. Teachers recommended handing out the Genome Sequencing Pipeline diagram (available in Supplemental Materials) for students to refer to as they watched the video.

A full report on the video and its assessment is being submitted for publication.