TEDxGhent talk on ageing now available

In a previous post, João Pedro de Magalhães reported his experience of giving TEDxGhent talk on “Genes regulating ageing and the quest for immortality“.

The video is now available:

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Summer Science Club

Guest post by Prof Blair Grubb, Head of the School of Life Sciences

summer science club 2015 - Blair Grubb

Children aged 7-13, from Merseyside and the Wirral, attended a workshop aimed at discovering what different parts of the body do and how they work. The workshop took place at the Victoria Gallery and Museum. The budding scientists measured how big their lungs are and learned why we need oxygen to live. The youngsters then measured their own heart rate when sitting quietly (not easy!) and then jumped up and down vigorously to see how much their heart rate changed as a result of exercise. The activity ended with a discussion about the brain and what it does – they enthusiastically cut out and made brain hats which show which parts of the brain are involved in sight, sound, movement and sensation. Before leaving they were presented with special rulers, donated by The Physiological Society, which will allow them to measure the reaction times of their friends and families.

Professor Blair Grubb, who presented the workshop said, “I was amazed at the very high level of knowledge shown by the young scientists at the science workshop. They threw themselves into all of the activities with great enthusiasm and asked really good and probing questions. It was a fantastic day and I was really delighted to be asked to participate!”

Outreach at Loreto Grammar School

Guest post by Kate Hammond

On 10th July 10th  I visited Loreto Grammar School in Altrincham to talk to the year 10 and 12 students about studying biology at university and the careers it can lead you on to. I was made very welcome, thank you Loreto, and had a great time meeting the students who were so interested and asked great questions. I also had great fun playing with the interactive white board – who knew Powerpoint could be that much fun. I really, really want one of those!

Summer School

summer schools

On 30th June 2015 the School of Life Sciences took part in the Health and Life Sciences Summer School, organised by Educational Opportunities. We ran two sessions for the visiting year 10 students, who all came from local schools.

The pupils visited the campus for three days to experience and explore courses, undertake activities and learn about future career paths within each Faculty area.

Terry Gleave organised a physiology based session. Kate Hammond, Yvonne Allen, Tom Price, Jenny Hodgson and undergraduate Meg Booth organised a series of short activities: extracting DNA from fruit, exploring the anatomy of the brain and observing fruit fly behaviour to answer the question “do drunk fruit flies have sex more often?” The prize for quote of the day goes to the student who asked “So how do you get the fruit flies bevvied?”!

As well as spending time with university academic staff and undergraduates, the pupils also spent two nights in university accommodation to experience independent living for the first time.

The Summer Schools received a lot of very positive feedback from participants who commented on how much they enjoyed the residential experience, the friendliness of the staff and students they met and how it made them think further about applying to university.

Crystallography for Knowsley students

On the 14th July a group of students from Knowsley School visited the School of Life Sciences to take part in a morning of crystallography based activities. The day started off with an introduction to crystallography from Sam Horrell, PhD student in the IIB. The students then took part in a variety of practical activities in the labs with Sam Horrell, Any Eacock, Jens Thomas, Ben Murray and Kate Hammond before getting an introduction to studying Biology at University from Kate. A tour of the IIB research labs from Prof Alan McCarthy, Sam and Amy rounded off the day.