Throughout the last term Dundee Science Centre’s STEM Learning Team have visited 10 secondary schools across Dundee, Fife, Perth and Kinross and Angus with Dr Stephen Watt of the Jacqui Wood Cancer Centre, University of Dundee. The team took groups of senior phase learners through an electrophoresis workshop developed to suit Unit 1 of the new CfE Higher Human Biology course.
The context was skin cancer, and the workshop had three distinct strands. Stephen had some DNA samples of a particular oncogene which the pupils had to prepare for loading, load into the gels, and then analyse the gels to determine which samples were healthy skin and which were cancerous.
Whilst the gels ran, they had the opportunity to study healthy and cancerous skin tissue through microscopes, identifying key features of each. There was also time for the pupils to speak to Stephen, to ask questions about skin cancer and what it is like to be a research scientist.
The groups then went through a data analysis task to see which type of cancer treatment is most effective – chemotherapy or targeted treatments.
The workshop provided an excellent opportunity for young people to learn from a professional scientist about world leading research.
Here’s what teachers said:
“It fitted in well to the Higher Human course”
“Pupils really enjoyed the workshop”
“An absolutely fantastic workshop, thank you!”
“I would personally love it if you were able to come out again when we are teaching CfE Higher Human next year!”
Dundee Science Centre hopes to be able to offer this experience again in the future. If you’d be interested to find out more, get in touch by e-mailing email@example.com