Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

School staff ‘inspire’ Y12 pupils through hands-on science

Wednesday, 03 December 2008

Biology inspires school children

Over 80 Year 12 students from schools in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire took part in an array of hands-on activities in the School of Life Sciences as part of ‘Biology Inspires’, organised by UK Recruitment and Partnerships and Aimhigher.

Over 80 Year 12 students from schools in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire took part in an array of hands-on activities in the School of Life Sciences as part of ‘Biology Inspires’, organised by UK Recruitment and Partnerships and Aimhigher. 

On the 21st and 28th November, Year 12 pupils with an interest in Biology had the opportunity to interact with staff and researchers in the School and experience studying science at University.

From extracting genomic DNA from their own cheek cells to measuring their waist to hip circumference ratio with callipers to assess nutritional status, pupils practised research techniques used in the laboratory or field.

Some students discovered that white scale insects prefer the sycamore to other species of tree including lime, oak and beech with no evidence of the flightless bug on pine trees at all.

Students interested in Sport Science tested the hypothesis that taller people make better rowers through quantitative strength and skill measures. This sparked an interesting discussion amongst pupils as to the factors that influence competitive athletic performance.

Tom Kirk, PhD student in the Exercise and Sport Science research group, who helped to organise the activity commented: “The students really enjoyed the session and learnt how science can be applied in a practical sports setting.”

The School of Life Sciences provides a range of other activities that local schools can get involved in including our Biotechnology equipment loan scheme, student work experience and lecturer talks. We also offer a range of degree courses across our three programme areas; Biology and the Environment; Biomedical and Biological Sciences and Sport, Exercise and Nutrition.