Getintogenes07Get into Genes is an award-winning program that has been helping secondary school students and teachers explore the use of gene technology in modern agriculture.

It was established in South Australia in 2004 by the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics and Molecular Plant Breeding CRC, with support from the Grains Research Development Corporation. Since then more than 20,000 secondary school students and teachers have attended the program in South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. Get into Genes is curriculum-linked, which has encouraged teachers to return to the program with new students year after year. These return visits are a testament to the validity of the program.

Real-life Australian research examples are discussed during Get into Genes, providing the ‘hook’ students need to grasp and remember concepts. Students also make the important connection between agriculture and their food.

Get into Genes incorporates professional development for secondary school teachers, giving them the confidence to teach agricultural biotechnology in the classroom. With additional funding from the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Get into Genes has been brought to more than 1000 students in remote and rural areas across South Australia and Victoria.