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Next Gen Program

Our curriculum-linked Next Gen programs aim to engage, educate and inspire our next generation of medical researchers.

Programs for Years 6 to 12 run Monday to Friday during term time. Students work with scientists and university science undergraduates. In our purpose-built teaching laboratory, students will use research-grade equipment and the latest technology to consolidate learning in a practical, hands-on way.

Content is themed using current research projects at the Perkins and is linked to the Australian Curriculum and WACE courses – giving students a firm understanding of how their lessons relate to real-world scientific discovery. The unique experiences are purposely built around a number of STEM career pathways.

Five-hour sessions for years 8 – 12, run from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. Two-hour sessions for years 6 and 7 run in the morning from 10 am to 12 pm or in the afternoon from 1 pm to 3 pm. We can be flexible to suit your group where possible.

Alternately, email the BioDiscovery Education team to discuss what the Lotterywest BioDiscovery Centre can offer your class.

Researchers to the Rescue!

Discover how technology and engineering have allowed medical scientists to venture into the human body.

Students are immersed into the world of science through a fun investigation centred around problem-solving in a researcher’s world.

This hands-on experience explores how to use one of the most important scientific tools in life sciences today – the micropipette.

Using their problem-solving skills, LED microscopes, the micropipette, and their research information skills, your students will be challenged to solve our mystery.

Year 6/7 Program

Activity duration: 2 hours

Max class size: 40 students

Price per student:

  • $20 per student per session for 20 or more
  • Less than 20 students per session: a flat fee of $400 applies

Curriculum Links
ACSSU 094, ACSHE 098, ACSIS 104, ACSIS 221

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Available dates calendar

Please note this calendar is updated daily and some dates listed may not be available.

Cell-ebrating Cells

Students will explore the structure and function of cell organelles in a fun puzzle activity. They will also learn how cells work together and cooperate to make multicellular organisms.

Next, they will investigate the size and scale of the microscopic world using our giant rulers.

This will be followed by a lab activity that investigates the story of the first human cells to ever be grown in a laboratory. These cells are known as HeLa cells. Students will gain an understanding of the history of HeLa cells and then go on to stain HeLa cells. Under a microscope, they will examine the differences between these cancerous cells and healthy human cells.

Year 8 Program

Activity duration: 5 hours 
Price per student:

  • $50 per student per day for 20 or more
  • Less than 20 per day students: a flat fee of $1000 applies

Max class size: 40 students

Curriculum Links
Australian Curriculum Year 8
SU 149, 150 SHE 134, 135, 136, 226 SIS 141, 144, 145, 146.

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Available dates calendar

Please note this calendar is updated daily and some dates listed may not be available.

Diagnosing Diabetes

A great STEM investigation – testing and analysing patient samples.

Your students will step into the shoes of a pathologist to diagnose diabetes. Diabetes is one of the world’s fastest-growing chronic diseases and a research focus at the Perkins.

Students will use technology, including glucose meters and research protocols to determine glucose levels in patient samples. They will then conduct a biochemical test to determine the type of diabetes each patient has. This will enable the students to decide what treatment options are available for that patient.

Our Perkins researchers will guide students through the use of different techniques to record, graph and analyse their patient samples as they design the best treatment plan for each patient.

Year 9 Program

Activity duration: 5 hours
Price per student:

  • $50 per student per day for 20 or more
  • Less than 20 students per day: a flat fee of $1000 applies

Max class size: 30 students

Curriculum Links 
Australian Curriculum Year 9
SU 175, SHE 158,160, SIS 166,165,169,170,171,172

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Available dates calendar

Please note this calendar is updated daily and some dates listed may not be available.

21st Century Genetic Toolkit

Discover how the latest genetic knowledge is helping us move closer to more effective, personalised treatments for disease.

The students’ day at the Perkins includes two engaging sessions hosted by research scientists. They will help students discover how tools are used to uncover clues to better understand disease.

Guided by our great team of Perkins researchers, students will learn about how CRISPR and bioinformatics work. They will discover how these tools are used to develop improved treatments and diagnostic tests for medical conditions. Students will also learn how to use technical tools like a micropipette and mini-centrifuge to extract DNA from cells.

Year 10 Program

Prerequisite knowledge: Studying or completed a genetics topic.
Activity duration: 5 hours
Price per student:

  • $50 per student per day for 20 or more
  • Less than 20 students per day: a flat fee of $1000 applies

Max class size: 40 students

Curriculum Links
Australian Curriculum Year 10
SU 184, SHE 191, 192, 194, 195, 230, SIS 198, 204, 205, 206, 208.

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Available dates calendar

Please note this calendar is updated daily and some dates listed may not be available.

Spectacular Stem Cells

Students will learn how research procedures and stem cells have provided a more accurate understanding of how to manage disease.

Session 1: Students will be guided by a researcher through the laboratory technique to thaw, prepare and stain stem cells used for investigating liver cancer.

Session 2: This session includes an insight into the developments and progress in stem cell research. It is followed by a fun, competitive exploration where students engage with tasks aimed at uncovering the secrets of stem cell research surrounding inherited retinal disease. A highlight includes each team being challenged to get the best score in the giant floor game ‘Start as a Stem Cell’.

The school leader board for our Stem Cell game can be found here.

Year 11 Program

Activity duration: 5 hours
Price per student:

  • $50 per student per day for 20 or more
  • Less than 20 students per day: a flat fee of $1000 applies

Max class size: 40 students

Curriculum links
Human Biology Year 11
Unit 2 Reproduction and Inheritance

SU statements
Stem cells have the ability to divide by mitosis and differentiate into many different tissues, depending on the level of cell potency.

SI statements
Conduct investigations, safely, competently and methodically for the collection of valid and reliable data.

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Available dates calendar

Please note this calendar is updated daily and some dates listed may not be available.

Searching for Mutations with PCR

Your class will gain a deeper understanding of how mutations can be identified through PCR, gel electrophoresis and sequencing in interactive wet and dry lab activities.

In the dry lab, students will discuss PCR and play a competitive game to cement their understanding of the PCR process.

In the wet lab activity, students will set up a PCR reaction to amplify potentially mutated BRAF genes of three patients, followed by electrophoresis to visualise the outcome. The identification of this mutation can lead to improved treatment options for people diagnosed with melanoma. Students will learn first-hand how advances in research directly affect the lives of patients.

The school leader board for our PCR game can be found here.

Year 12 Human Biology/Biology Program

Activity duration: 5 hours
Price per student:

  • $50 per student per day for 20 or more
  • Less than 20 students per day: a flat fee of $1000 applies

Max class size: 30 students

Curriculum Links

Biology Year 12 | Unit 3 Continuity of species
Human Biology Year 12 | Unit 4 Human Variation and Evolution

SU statements: Mutations in genes and chromosomes can result from errors in DNA replication, cell division or from damage caused by mutagens.

SHE statements: Developments in biotechnology have increased access to genetic information of species, populations and individuals, existing now or in the past, the interpretation and use of which may be open to ethical considerations.

SIS statements: Conduct investigations, including the use of virtual or real biotechnology techniques of PCR, gel electrophoresis for DNA sequencing.

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Available dates calendar

Please note this calendar is updated daily and some dates listed may not be available.

Protein Power @ Perkins

Students spend a session exploring the primary, secondary and tertiary structures of proteins along with the formation of zwitterions and the role of functional groups.

They will then head to the lab for an investigation of antibiotic-resistant proteins. Using their chemical calculation skills and an electrolytic cell, students will carry out protein electrophoresis. Replicating the process research scientists use, students will apply their analytical skills to search the Protein Data Bank for key information about their sample. Using this information, students will then modify the structure of the protein to see if they can transform it into a more effective antibiotic.

The school leader board for our Build a Protein game can be found here.

Year 12 Chemistry Program

Activity duration: 5 hours
Price per student:

  • $50 per student per day for 20 or more
  • Less than 20 students per day: a flat fee of $1000

Max class size: 30 students

Curriculum Links
Chemistry Year 12 | Unit 4
Organic chemistry and chemical synthesis

SU α-amino acid structure – primary, secondary and tertiary, peptides

SHU – Protein Data Bank

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Available dates calendar

Please note this calendar is updated daily and some dates listed may not be available.

Get to Know a Perkins Personality

A fantastic opportunity for students to talk via Zoom with Medical Researchers or Science Undergraduates. Your class can have an in-depth conversation with one of our fabulous team members.

These sessions are tailored to the questions your students want answered.

If they want to know about work in a research lab, the type of experiments conducted, what university life is like, or get helpful study tips and hints, this is a great session for them to engage in.

A Perkins Host chairs each session and invites students to ask their preprepared questions directly to their Perkins Personality. Time permitting, additional questions can be asked on the day.

Zoom Session

Activity duration: 45 minutes

Cost: $100 this aids vital research and education programs at the Perkins.

Max class size: 35 students

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