• Getting girls into science 3

Workshop Three

Workshop three – Thursday May 23rd 2013

We were very lucky last half term to have been invited to Aston University to experience some degree level science. Dr Steve Russell of the Life and Health Sciences department at Aston University kindly arranged a two hour workshop on the ‘Extraction of DNA from Kiwi Fruit’.

The students arrived and were in awe and amazement of the sheer size of the university campus and its buildings and then of course the size of the laboratory the workshop was being held in. We were welcomed by Dr Russell’s staff and quickly set to work.

Dr Russell discussed what DNA was and who discovered it and what uses in society its discovery has. Our primary students had to quickly get to work following a detailed set of instructions for the experiment where there were lots of different bits of equipment set out waiting to be used! The students worked in pairs and had to slice and mash up Kiwi fruit and mix with a solution (see the experiment on the page) and then pop into an incubator and wait for the results!

The students were able to work with lots of different machines, some of which were worth £10 000 and they were able to ask lots of questions about the science of DNA and Biology and Dr Russell treated them like young adults.

Once the DNA was extracted students were even able to create the DNA patterns for analysis and they loved using such complex equipment and processes and were so enthused about the subject. I was fascinated as was Mr Williams that Dr Russell has actually found a cure for treating certain cancers and so we could all see the invaluable work that is carried out in our science laboratories in our Birmingham Universities.

The session culminated with a question and answer session on careers in Science and it is so encouraging to see how such young minds can be encouraged into a potentially fantastic career for their futures.

Thank you to Dr Russell, Mr Williams, Miss Langstone (St James Primary) and Mr Frowen (Heathfield Primary) for their support during the afternoon.

Our next venture will be the presentation afternoon at HWGA on Friday July 19th 2013 so watch this space!

Miss S Beech – June 2013

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