Jedburgh pupils get a taste of genetics
Pupils from Jedburgh Grammar School have participated in a Higher Biology workshop on DNA.
Our new Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre (EBSOC) recently ran its first workshop ‘PCR: A Question of Taste’ for a class of Higher Biology students from Jedburgh Grammar School.
EBSOC gives visitors a unique opportunity to get hands-on with real-life lab equipment. For example, the pupils from Jedburgh got to do a real PCR (polymerase chain reaction), a technique used to analyse a specific part of DNA, for the first time.
As part of the Higher Biology curriculum, the pupils had all studied PCR in class, but in EBSOC they got to do it for real. The full-day session explored the relationship between the information held in each pupil’s DNA (their genotype) and their ability to taste a bitter chemical (their phenotype), similar to the one found in Brussels sprouts.
The session was led by The Roslin Institute’s Public Engagement team and supported by scientists, who provided hands-on support throughout and offered valuable insights into the real-life research applications of the techniques covered.
It was different from a regular science lesson because I got to experience actually doing PCR rather than just hearing about it!
EBSOC is now fully open for visits from schools and community groups. It is a purpose-built teaching laboratory designed to deliver a hands-on science experience.
We offer curriculum-linked workshops for schools pupils in P6 to S6 and interactive lab-based sessions for community groups of all ages.