I’m often asked to explain the human genome project, or sequencing in general when discussing what I do with those outside of the field. I’d like to think I’m not bad at explaining it in lay terms, either.
On the other hand, there’s now a video that does a VERY good job of this, written by Mark J. Kiel, from the University of Michigan. The illustrations are a great mix of simplicity and detail, that captures the essence of the process while not omitting the actual science. It’s pretty impressive and well worth the 5 minutes it takes to watch it. You can also catch the full thing on Youtube: