Centre for Reproductive Health

The Mitchell lab visits Portobello High School

On Tuesday 6 September 2022 Professor Rod Mitchell and his PhD student Grace Forsyth visited Portobello High School to speak to a group of S5 / S6 science students.

Over 30 budding young scientists, studying Higher Human Biology, were interested to learn more about the research carried out at CRH and the wide variety of STEM career opportunities open to them.

Professor Mitchell’s CRH lab group investigates Fertility Preservation in young males. To offer the students some prior knowledge of this topic they were sent our scientific animation to watch ahead of the visit.

Rod and Grace had created a presentation for the students, who were eager to hear about the research progress being made in the Mitchell lab and Grace’s PhD (which combines science and engagement).

Topics covered included Professor Mitchell and Grace’s career progression and choices, the current Fertility Preservation studies taking place at CRH, and the variety of work carried out by a clinical academic.

Pictures of Portobello High School visit

Grace spoke about her current findings, the academic decisions she has made since leaving school, and the importance of encouraging and supporting women in STEM.

The students had plenty of insightful questions to ask in the Q&A section such as: what is the technique used to store the tissue, the use of animals in research, fertility preservation goals for the future, and what were their favourite parts of the job.

We concluded with an interactive quiz for the students based around Fertility Preservation and science facts and stats, with prizes for the correct answers.

Hardeep Kaur, one of the Portobello High School Biology teachers, said: “Thank you so much to MRC CRH. The students were absolutely blown away by Professor Mitchell and Grace’s presentation and Q&A – as were our staff who have been sharing what they learned all day. A big thanks to Ginnie for her organisation and communication. We are already excited for the next engagement event with CRH!”

The feedback from students and teachers was very positive and we hope to run a further engagement event with Portobello High School in the near future.