Biological Sciences

Schools

Projects and events for Schools.

A Question of Taste is a full day hands-on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) workshop, run at the National Museum of Scotland.
A Question of Taste is a full day hands-on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) workshop, run at the National Museum of Scotland

Biotechnology Workshops

National Museums Scotland School's Programme - A Question of Taste Workshop

The School delivers an annual programme of practical and curriculum-relevant biotechnology workshops for secondary school pupils studying Higher and Advanced Higher Biology. 

A Question of Taste is a full day hands-on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) workshop, run at the National Museum of Scotland. Pupils discover and compare their version of a bitter taste receptor gene (their genotype) to their ability to taste the bitter compound (their phenotype). 

Using real laboratory equipment, pupils carry out the techniques of DNA extraction, PCR, restriction enzyme digestion and gel electrophoresis. The workshop incorporates time viewing relevant parts of the Museum science galleries. 

Workshops take place each October to December and must be booked directly with the Museum (from mid-August). 

Enquiries: janet.paterson@ed.ac.uk

Gene Jury

Gene Jury website

Gene Jury presents primary and secondary school workshops, and a suite of associated web mounted learning resources, which aim to engage schoolchildren with the relevance and impact of genetics on society.

Widening participation

Widening participation website

School staff members regularly present workshops to secondary school pupils visiting the University each year as part of the “Kickstart” and “LIFTOFF” widening participation projects..

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for teachers

4273π website

In partnership with the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre (SSERC), School public engagement staff have worked to establish better CPD opportunities. The Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology provides an annual SSERC Teachers' day with "hands on" PCR and fluorescence microscopy experience, combined with talks on state of the art techniques and research.

4273π, jointly with Edinburgh Genomics, has provided a SSERC Teachers' day of curriculum-linked bioinformatics, talks, free materials and a tour of the world-leading DNA sequencing facility in 2016, and will provide further CPD in future.

Bioinformatics resources, events, equipment and school visits

4273π website

The 4273π project develops and delivers bioinformatics education and training, emphasising schools and links to the Curriculum for Excellence curricula for Higher Biology and Human Biology. The 4273π project provides materials, administers a free loan box scheme for Scottish state schools and visits schools to co-teach bioinformatics to sixth-form pupils.

Stem cells educational resources

EuroStemCell

EuroStemCell is a pan-European project hosted at Edinburgh which aims to help European citizens make sense of stem cell and regenerative medicine research. A very wide range of educational resources can be downloaded from the website.