Through this data collection project the students will have the opportunity to contribute real data to a project about food fraud. Participants in the Fish Market Survey Action Project will be collecting samples of fish from local grocery stores and markets using DNA sample collection kits and then will send the kits to the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics at the University of Guelph to be DNA barcoded. The barcodes will then go into BOLD Data System, a publicly accessible database of DNA barcodes accessible by researchers worldwide.
Registration for the Fall 2018 is now OPEN!
Register for CurioCity or login to your existing account and complete the registration form to indicate your interest in participating in the Fish Market Survey project.
Participating educators will receive one Life Scanner kit from Let's Talk Science at no cost. The kit comes with 4 specimen vials, each containing a DNA preservation fluid for animal tissues, a pair of tweezers, collection instructions, and return shipment bag specifically designed for bio-materials. Also included is a padded mailing envelope for the return of the vials for analysis. The Educator will be required to mail the samples back using this postage-paid envelope to the LifeScanner lab at the University of Guelph in Ontario.
Note: Let's Talk Science will provide one kit per registered educator. Additional kits can be purchased from LifeScanner at a cost of $44 per kit. If you purchase additional kits and would like the data to be included in this project, please let LifeScanner know this when you get your kit confirmation email or include this information when you return your samples to LifeScanner.
Once you receive the kit, follow the steps below to complete the Fish Market Survey.
- Review Lesson Plans:
Review the various optional and recommended lesson plans, in particular the ACTION: Fish Market Survey Data Collection lesson plan which is the core of the project.
- Get fish from grocery stores or fish markets:
Have students collect the appropriate types of fish (see infographic below and ACTION lesson plan). Students collecting samples will need to enter data on the LifeScanner website. See the Sampling Protocol document for more information.
- Prepare Samples:
Have the students prepare the samples for submission. See the Sampling Protocol document for more information.
- Return Samples:
Use the self-addressed, postage-paid envelope that comes with the kit to mail completed samples to LifeScanner.
The deadline to return samples is November 2, 2018
Lesson Plans for Educators
A number of lesson plans have been developed to support this project. These include an opening lesson which introduces students to the issue of food fraud and fish mislabelling, hands-on lessons on DNA extraction and Sanger Sequencing and wrap-up lessons on assessing the data from the project and the seafood supply chain.
LESSON PLANS CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
Results from previous years can be viewed on this page. Results from the Fall 2017 project are now available.
Fall 2016-Fall 2017 Participating Classes
Let’s Talk Science is partnering with the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics at the University of Guelph, Ontario and the Marine Stewardship Council to provide free DNA sample collection kits to senior high school classes across Canada.
Some of the scientists we are working with include:
Associate Professor, Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph
Director of Education & Outreach, Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph
1. Hanner R, Becker S, Ivanova NV, Steinke D (2011). FISH-BOL and seafood identification: Geographically dispersed case studies reveal systemic market substitution across Canada. Mitochondrial DNA 22 (S1): 106-122.