Bionano DNA Analysis Work-Based Learning Experience with Grandview High School

On November 16, 2023, IGNITE Students from Grandview High School joined Bionano for an intriguing IGNITE Program Work-Based Learning Experience (WBLE) Event. The event, led by activity leaders Gabe Armstrong and Tyrrell Nelson, featured a stellar lineup of Volunteers, including Tech Hosts Isaiah Oommen and Julio Gallardo, along with Facilitator Erin Zlotnik. The event’s Panelists comprised Sheila Purim, Sr. Marketing Director, Manasi Pimpley, Senior Field Application Scientist, and Candela Delucchi, Regional Marketing Specialist. The event, hosted virtually, brought together students and Bionano professionals for a deep dive into DNA analysis and showed students just how fascinating this area of STEM can be.

Bionano turned the virtual space into a vibrant hub of scientific exploration, starting the day by providing students with a company overview and showcasing the journeys of three accomplished women STEM professionals. The panel discussion not only shed light on the Panelists’ careers but also highlighted the diversity within Bionano.

Following the engaging dialogue and question-and-answer session, the event transitioned to hands-on action. Bionano volunteers guided students through a captivating DNA extraction activity, demystifying a crucial aspect of Bionano’s technology workflow. Even within the virtual landscape, the event managed to capture the essence of hands-on learning. The breakout rooms buzzed with excitement as students delved into the intricacies of DNA extraction, gaining invaluable insights into the world of molecular biology.

The feedback echoed the success of the event, with students expressing their enjoyment of both the interactive activity and the intriguing facts shared throughout. Educator Yeraldi Espino emphasized the practical skills gained during the event. Students not only learned how to extract DNA from their own cells, but also gleaned fascinating facts about genes.

The success of this event was only possible with the dedication and expertise of our Volunteers and Educator. A heartfelt thank you to Gabe ArmstrongTyrrell NelsonIsaiah OommenJulio GallardoErin ZlotnikSheila PurimManasi PimpleyCandela Delucchi, and Yeraldi Espino. Your passion for STEM and commitment to fostering the next generation of STEM professionals made this event a resounding success. IGNITE Worldwide extends its gratitude to each one of you for making a difference in the lives of these students and inspiring them to reach for the stars.

After attending this event:


of students are interested in STEM

Take STEM Class


of students know more about STEM career choices and the benefits of working in a STEM field

Ask Teacher about Additional STEM Activities


of students feel more confident in pursuing STEM


of students gained perspective and feel more hopeful about the future

Here’s what the students thought of the event:

“What inspired me about this event was how each panelist was so different, and science wasn’t always their main thing too. They really made me see that I have so many options, and I don’t have to worry. My big takeaway is that DNA is cool. Biology, chemicals, and human life are so interesting.” – 10th Grade IGNITE Student

Today’s event inspired me through the experiences of the panelists. They made me more comfortable with the idea of pursuing a STEM career. My big takeaway from this event is to take more STEM classes. I also would want to volunteer in STEM-like events.” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

Today’s event opened my eyes to new careers in STEM fields, and I learned about things I wasn’t expecting to know. My biggest takeaway is that cells take up so much of our lives.” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

This event made me more interested in the subject of STEM. It was great. My takeaway was that it was very interesting to see how it works.” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

“This event was fun; I enjoyed it. This event has inspired me to follow the dreams I have, even if they are difficult. My biggest takeaway is to follow my dreams. Make sure to complete my dreams.” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

Today’s event inspired me by hearing different perspectives on careers related to STEM. Along with this, I think this was something I might have needed to have more inspiration. My big takeaways are that it doesn’t matter who you are; you still have an opportunity to be part of STEM.” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

“Today’s event was one of my favorites! We learned how to separate our cells from our inner cheek wall using things from home! It was extremely fun to do. My biggest takeaway was that everyone has different paths and gets to their goals in their ways!” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

Today’s event inspired me to try different things. I learned not to be afraid of switching majors in college. My big takeaway is to not be discouraged through my difficulties. I want to thank the volunteers for teaching me more about DNA.” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

About Bionano:

Bionano is committed to unlocking understanding of genome biology to advance the promise of genomics in areas including cancer and human disease, agricultural bioengineering and genome discovery. Their next-generation genome mapping and analysis tools help researchers see true genome structure to fill in what’s missing from sequencing-based data.

About IGNITE Program Work-Based Learning Experience Events:

Virtual Work-Based Learning Experiences are hosted on a virtual platform so students can sign on from anywhere and include an interactive, hands-on STEM activity focused on skill-building and real-world applications, like artificial Intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, or engineering, followed by an IGNITE Panel and Q&A discussion.

About IGNITE Worldwide:

IGNITE Worldwide is a 501(c)3 nonprofit STEM education organization that aims to change gender and racial equity in STEM permanently and systematically. We work directly with teachers during the school day to provide programming that promotes gender equity and representation in STEM academics and careers. Through our award-winning program, IGNITE provides engaging, hands-on events that connect students with STEM professionals from industry leaders from around the world. Learn more at

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