Schools' DayEvery March, the Babraham Institute opens its doors to students and teachers alike for its Annual Schools’ Day, an opportunity for up to 150 secondary (Yr10/11) and sixth-form students to meet scientists, take part in projects in scientific laboratories and learn more about careers in science. Working alongside our researchers, students get a chance to see what it is like to work in a laboratory and how the work of the Babraham Institute relates to the science they are learning about in school.
The Institute’s Group Leaders each run a project relating to the research of their Group, usually involving their PhD students and post-docs. These projects allow students to try basic biology research for themselves – they find out about current scientific research and are encouraged to solve problems using special techniques and equipment. Other projects have been run by commercial research companies in the Babraham Campus Bioincubator (small to medium sized companies that carry out life science research alongside the Babraham Institute).
In order that the event is relevant and interesting to both students and teachers, we also organise activities for teachers – presentations from our scientists and/or from the commercial companies in the Babraham Campus Bioincubator run concurrently with the student projects. These sessions are designed to give teachers the opportunity to learn more about the science they are teaching in class and also to give them the confidence to speak about the context and relevance of science in the world today.
Megan, a sixth-form student from Colchester High School for Girls, said "Babraham opened my eyes to the myriad of potential careers in science. The Ph.D. students were very approachable and eagerly spoke to me about the various projects they were undertaking. It was amazing to think that these people were paving their way into the unknown, testing unexplored hypothesis and discovering fascinating conclusions. I was inspired by their passion to look into a career in biological sciences myself. I was lucky enough to participate in a gel electrophoresis demonstration, and it was this experience that made me realise my passion for the practical element of biology and consider a career beyond medicine. I am now applying for a biological science degree"
The next Schools' Day will be Wednesday 1st March 2017 and will consist of two half-days, with projects for GCSE students in the mornig and for A-Level students in the afternoon. We also plan to run lab-based projects for teachers too!
Please note that all students attending Schools' Day MUST be accompanied by a teacher.
See news items from Schools' Day 2015 and Schools' Day 2016 for more information.