Science in Schools
Schools' Science Day
Sixth Form Conferences
Researcher in Residence
Bioscience Boot Camp
Royal Society Exhibition
Public Engagement Training
Our annual Schools’ Day, during National Science Week, has been the Institute’s flagship event for 16 years and recently became CREST accredited. Around 140 GCSE/6th form students spend the day in the laboratory working on two different projects, experiencing research alongside ‘real scientists’. Projects include extracting DNA and getting to grips with the principles of cloning, looking into the effects of caffeine on the work-rate (pumping activity) of the heart of the water flea, and characterising the shape and movement of mitochondria within living cells using fluorescent microscopy. One of the projects also gives students the opportunity to find out about the uses of animals in research and discuss the ethical issues confronting scientists doing biomedical research.
Lunchtime career talks with scientists and people working in science-related careers, such as science communication, were introduced in 2006 to raise awareness of the diverse careers that a degree in science offers.
Download information on selected projects for 2011.
In 2010 the teachers were invited to three talks by Institute scientists explaining their research, assisting with teachers’ CDP and curriculum enrichment. Teachers comments included “particularly enjoyed morning talks, it was great to be brought up to date-some fascinating projects!” and “thank you to all involved. It has been a great experience for the students and I am sure it will inspire them for the future and hopefully for their Biology today!”
One teacher wrote to us after the event to say, “Just a quick note to thank you for all your efforts and excellent organisational skills at the Schools’ Day. My students were very positive about their experience and are certainly far better informed now about a career in science research. We do hope that the day will be run again next year and if so, then I will be first in the queue for some student places!”
‘It exceeded my expectations by giving a huge insight into research and its significance.’
‘I got to consolidate what I have recently learnt in books and got a real taste of how things work.’
‘It was good, better than expected. I liked that we got to do hands-on experiments.’
What did you like most about the visit?
‘I enjoyed engaging with well established biomedical scientists’
‘To meet the people and speaking to them. It gave me more info of what a science based job would mean, also see the apparatus in the laboratory and methods.’
‘I enjoyed using the equipment such as the extremely accurate pipettes and the centrifuge, and chemicals etc. we'd never use in school.’ ‘The relevance to my A5 biology and the application of knowledge (especially PCR)’
‘Being taught things outside of the syllabus and seeing what jobs could be done after a bio degree’
‘They had 3 scientists from different backgrounds telling us about the life of being a scientist, I think that is very helpful to the decisions we will make in the future’
‘The chance to see biology at a high level and where a career in biology can lead‘
‘The people telling me about how they got into science and each of their subjects’
Has this changed your opinion of scientists?
‘Yes, I thought they would be old and boring.’
‘Very impressed with the level of commitment and ability.’
‘Yes, more interesting that I thought. They get to make a difference, not just play with chemicals.’
‘Yes, it makes me wonder more about how they initiate their research, how do they know what to do.’
‘They seem really nice people and they are actually normal, people I could work with.’
‘Yes, they are really talented, very friendly and eager to talk about their own experiences.’
‘Yes it has. I now realise being a scientist is not boring but very interesting and challenging’
Exchange & Engagement Team
Contact by email
Dr Claire Cockcroft
Head, External Relations
Contact by email
Babraham Institute - Babraham Research Campus - Cambridge - United Kingdom