The A level Biology students of South Sefton College, Litherland visited the Institute of Integrative Biology at the University of Liverpool last month. This is a guest post from their teacher, Matthew Roberts:
We were shown the cutting edge facilities at the Centre for Cell Imaging. These included laser confocal and light-sheet microscopes that were being used to view a live fish egg, which was fascinating for the students as they have only experienced microscopy with dead specimens. The fact that the visiting group was small allowed experts in their field to talk to the students. The academics were really good at linking these imaging techniques to the A level microscopy to help the students understand.
The final microscope that we were shown was a laser microscope with a tremendously high resolution, the highest resolution available at this current moment in science. The students were very impressed to hear that there are probably only about two microscopes like this in the world and one is here in Liverpool!
We also went into the Centre for Genomics Research that was really relevant to what the students are going to be doing at A2 when they study genetic engineering and DNA sequencing. It really was inspiring for the students to see real equipment and hear about projects using it.
This visit gave the students a real insight into what studying Biological Sciences is like at the University of Liverpool and where it could take them. The staff could not have been more helpful. I would definitely recommend this to other A level Biology teachers who would like to inspire their students to take their subject beyond A level. I will definitely be booking this again for my students next year.