ENCOURAGING TEENAGE SCIENCE TALENT IN BRISTOL

Issue date: 28 April 2003


ISSUE DATE: 28/04/03

Around 100 year 10 pupils from 12 schools in Bristol will visit the Faculty of Applied Sciences at the University of the West of England on 30 April to take part in a hands-on science day to encourage them to make the most of their abilities in science.

This is the second successful year UWE has run these practical science workshops as part of the Excellence in Cities Initiative (EiC).

The pupils will get to use some of UWE’s most advanced equipment housed in state-of-the-art laboratories including Molecular Biology, Forensic Science and Microbiology.

The aim of the day is to offer those who are academically gifted and talented in Bristol Schools the chance to experience some of the more specialised and stimulating aspects of studying science.

Liz Banister, the lead Coordinator for Gifted and Talented activities in East Bristol and Deputy Head of Speedwell Technology College says, “We want to show children that science is an exciting and rewarding subject to study. The topics covered during the day will enhance and extend their understanding of the topic 'Inheritance and Selection' which they will be studying later in their GCSE science course. Attending this day will help the students not only achieve their potential grade but we also hope it will motivate some of them to want to take their science studies beyond GCSE. The teachers attending also benefit and can use the knowledge gained to inform their own teaching.”

Dr Vyv Salisbury, Senior Lecturer in Microbiology at UWE says, “Visitors to the microbiology labs will be looking at bacteria which glow in the dark and seeing how the genes for bioluminescence can be added to disease-causing bacteria so that the effects of antibiotics on the glowing bacteria can be instantly observed. They will also be scraping bacteria from their teeth and looking at them under the microscope. The work with bioluminescent bacteria will help to demonstrate how genetically modified bacteria can be used in biomedical research and antibiotic testing."

Dr Dave Patton, will demonstrate the use of electron microscopes in forensic science, “The students will visit the electron microscope laboratory and will be able to look at the herpes virus studied in a student project. They will also be able to use the environmental scanning electron microscope to look at bullets, insects and grains of pollen.”

The day of workshops is part of the Excellence in Cities Initiative (EiC) which aims to give the top 10% in each year group the chance to participate in enrichment activities that complement and support the national curriculum.

-ENDS-

Editor’s notes

- 12 schools will take part this year – each bringing eight pupils each:

Fairfield High School
Speedwell Technology College
Portway Community School
Whitefield Fishponds Community School
Lockleaze School
The Meriton
Hengrove School
Brislington School
St. Bernadettes School
St. Bedes School
Henbury School
Monks Park School

- The students attending have been identified by their schools as being gifted in science.

- Money to fund the release of the staff and transport comes from the individual schools Excellence in Cities Gifted and Talented budget.

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