The Skills Lab: Nat 5 Lab Skills Outreach Project
Lab skills make research happen. Read about our latest project The Skills Lab, a unique opportunity for young people of Scotland to work with University of Edinburgh scientists.
We have worked with 8 schools, 8 teachers and 109 pupils studying the National 5 Skills for Work: Laboratory Science AKA Nat 5 Lab Skills, to pilot this new project from the Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre here at the University of Edinburgh.
The Skills Lab aims to build confidence in science skills and increase aspiration around careers in STEM for learners from low science capital backgrounds, with a focus on laboratory skills and technical careers; and to remove barriers (both financial and attitudinal) that prevent some learners attending sessions at the Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre (EBSOC). As such we prioritised working with classes of pupils who are not on a Higher/Advanced Higher science track, and are instead taking the Nat 5 Lab Skills course as an alternative science qualification.
The project involved a multi-phase interaction between Nat 5 Lab Skills classes and EBSOC during the 2022 Spring and Summer terms:
- Outreach visit with Roslin Institute staff and students to the school for a hands-on practical session (Separating plant pigments using thin layer chromatography)
- Pupil investigations in school using a box of equipment which we left after our visit
- Visit to EBSOC for a full-day Lab Skills specific hands-on workshop and campus tour
- Video: The Skills Lab Celebration Video 2022
- Video of The Skills Lab project 2022.
Thank you to the teachers and pupils the following schools for taking part in this project:
Douglas Ewart High School, Dumfries & Galloway
Dornoch Academy, Highland
Graeme High School, Falkirk
St Margaret's High School, North Lanarkshire
Braidhurst High School, North Lanarkshire
St John Ogilvie High School, South Lanarkshire
Whitburn Academy, West Lothian
West Calder High School, West Lothian
We had funding from the The Wellcome Trust (Registered charity in England no 210183) and Waters Corporation to support a limited number of schools to take part in the project.