Science Education

Formerly known as European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences

Our inspiring educational experiences share the scientific discoveries of EMBL with young learners aged 10-19 years and teachers in Europe and beyond. We belong to EMBL’s Science Education and Public Engagement office.

Virtual LearningLAB  

The CRISPR revolution, September 2021


Understanding the possibilities of genome editing helps us become aware that basic research has the power to revolutionize our lives. EMBL’s European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences (ELLS) in collaboration with the Public Engagement team at EMBL-EBI invites secondary school science teachers to explore this exciting area of biological research in a virtual training course entitled “The CRISPR revolution: genome editing in basic research and beyond” this autumn. The course is free of charge and the workload is estimated to be 9 hours and is designed to fit around a busy teacher’s schedule. The course working language is English. The course runs over two weeks from 20 September to 3 October 2021.

Application deadline: 6 September 2021

This professional training course for secondary school science teachers provides insights into the ins and outs of genome editing and the CRISPR-Cas technology used in modern life sciences research, and discusses its teaching in the classroom. 

The two-week course consists of a mix of individual learning and interactive live sessions. The workload across the course is estimated to be 9 hours, covering 4-5 hours each week. An extra week for assignments submission is granted. 

In week 1, participants will deepen their understanding of the “biology” behind CRISPR-based genome editing tools. Scientists will shed light on the development and the applications of these genome editing technologies and will offer a glimpse of how CRISPR can impact discoveries in the life sciences and human health.

Week 2 will provide insights and inspiration for best teaching genome-editing practices, that professionals in the development of CRISPR courses for teaching laboratories will share with us. Participants will have the opportunity to explore a selection of resources to help secondary school students dive into the topic of genome editing. Moreover, attendees are invited to explore a brand-new non-laboratory, hands-on learning resource which can be directly applied in the classroom to teach the ethical aspects of genome editing, aiming to reflect on the implications of genome editing on society and promote critical thinking and evidence-based discussion.

By the end of the course, participants will:

  • Explore genome editing: deepen and expand their understanding of genome editing and CRISPR
  • Stay current: appreciate the application and implication of genome editing in basic research, medicine and beyond
  • Teach genome editing: become familiar with a new non-laboratory, hands-on learning resource on the ethics of genome editing suitable for classroom use

Moreover, the course gives participants the opportunity to:

  • connect to active researchers in the field
  • expand their sources of materials for teaching genome editing and the ethics related to the topic in secondary school
  • expand their network of international teachers and science educators.


The training course is organised by the European Learning Laboratory of EMBL in collaboration with the Public Engagement team at EMBL-EBI and in partnership with Merck.

European Learning Laboratory of EMBL (EMBL-ELLS)
The European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences (EMBL-ELLS) is EMBL‘s education facility, which aims to bridge the gap between research and schools. Multifaceted training activities and programmes allow European teachers and secondary school students to experience modern life sciences. They gain access to cutting-edge scientific research and get to know the people inside the laboratories. Besides continued professional development courses for teachers and the development of teaching resources, our activities include the EMBL School Ambassador Programme, projects with local schools as well as the school group visits‘ programme at EMBL. Visit our website for further information about our activities.

Public engagement at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI)

EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) is the world’s leading source of biological and biomolecular data. Our core mission is to enable life science research and its translation to medicine, agriculture, industry and society by providing biological data, tools and knowledge. We are part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), an open science intergovernmental organisation that has grown to become Europe’s centre of excellence in life science research, services and training. EMBL-EBI is situated on the Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire. We aim to share EMBL-EBI’s science and technology in context through a mutually beneficial process of engagement with the general public, educators and students. Learn more about public engagement activities at EBI.

The Life Science business of Merck which operates as MilliporeSigma in the U.S. and Canada, has more than 22,000 employees and 59 manufacturing sites worldwide, with a portfolio of more than 300,000 products focused on scientific discovery, biomanufacturing and testing services. Our purpose is to spark curiosity in the next generation to solve the toughest problems in life science by collaborating with the global scientific community – and through that, we aim to accelerate access to better health for people everywhere.

Learning formats and assignment

The course will take place online and will be taught through e-lectures, live Q&A sessions, reading material and online exercises.

The course is mainly designed to be self-paced. However, the course features several live sessions (see course schedule) where participants meet researchers, course organisers and other participants. Recordings of the live sessions will be made available to participants after the session for the duration of the course.

The workload for completing the compulsory learning content is between 4-5 hours per week. The content in each week comprises compulsory and additional content that is optional. To be eligible for a certificate of attendance, participants must have submitted the required compulsory assignments by Sunday of the week following the course (10 October 2021).

Requirements, certificates and cancellations

Please note that we recommend a minimum English language level of B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in order to successfully complete the course. Please consult this self-assessment chart if you are unsure about your language skills.

The course will take place on a Moodle-based e-learning platform and the Zoom meeting tool. To access the course, participants will need to have access to a computer with an internet connection. To take part in the interactive live sessions on Zoom, participants should have an audio connection as well as a camera.

Participants receive a certificate of attendance upon completion of the course. To be eligible for the certificate participants must have submitted the required compulsory assignments by Sunday of the week following the course.

Cancellation fees
As we anticipate the ELLS virtual LearningLAB to be very popular, we ask participants to only apply if they are certain that they can attend the module they signed up for, or the full duration of the course, respectively. In case you find yourself unable to attend after having received our confirmation email, please notify us as soon as possible by ✉ email but no later than 14 days before the start of the course, so we can give your place to somebody on the waiting list.

Please note that cancellations and non-attendance might jeopardise the viability of the course for other participants, and we may charge a course cancellation fee.


Terms and conditions
Please make yourself familiar with the terms and conditions for participating in our courses and on data protection. Your agreement towards these terms and conditions is required before you can continue with applying for the course.

Please ensure that you have read all course information on this page before applying and are confident that you can attend if your application is successful.

You will need to submit a short motivational statement (max. 300 words) in the application form. To apply, please fill in the following application form.

Course schedule

The preliminary course schedule may be downloaded here: 

The schedule contains information about the tentative timings of the course, course content, learning formats and estimated workload.

Date: 20 September - 3 October 2021

Application deadline: 6 Sep 2021

Topic area:  Genome biology

Format: Virtual

Location: Online

Contact: ELLS Team

Organiser: ELLS & EMBL-EBI PE