Educational Resources Lets Talk Science Challenge participants


Start date:
Senior biology students use a DNA barcoding kit to test local grocery store fish samples, and discover if the fish they bought is mislabeled and part of food fraud!


A selection of fish on display at a supermarket

We are now accepting registrations for Fall 2019! Complete the registration form to indicate your interest in participating in the Fish Market Survey project.

Project Overview 

Through this data collection project the students will have the opportunity to contribute real data to a project about food fraud. Food is an extremely important part of our lives, and more and more people are concerned about where their food comes from and what goes into it. Even if you carefully read the package, you may not be getting what you think. DNA barcoding is one tool that scientists use to confirm or refute the identity of food such as beef, fish and other seafood.

Project Description 

Participants in the Fish Market Survey will collect samples of fish from their local grocery stores and markets using the DNA collection kit they receive once they have enrolled. After they have collected their samples, they return their kit 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, and the students will know if the fish they purchased was labeled correctly!

Project Partners

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.

Center for Biodiversity Genomics 
Marine Stewardship Council 

Classroom Connections

Learning Goals
  • Develop awareness of applications of DNA Barcoding
  • Understand the processes used to extract DNA from cells and to sequence DNA
  • Understand how DNA sequences can be used to identify species
  • Correctly and accurately follow a scientific protocol and keep accurate and complete records
  • Become familiar with the seafood supply chain from point of origin to consumer
  • Subject Focus: Science, Biology
  • 21st Century Skills Focus: Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration
  • Suggested Timing: 90 minutes or 2 periods (not including optional lessons)