Partnering with Castlebrae High School
Staff at cutting-edge cell research centre mentor local high school pupils.
The Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM) at the BioQuarter, Little France, has set up a partnership with nearby Castlebrae High School and its local primary schools to enrich science education and engagement in order to help ensure that the local community benefit from being neighbours with a vibrant and expanding science park.
Dr Cathy Southworth, together with Thomas Lindsay, science teacher at Castlebrae High School, have developed a programme that has seen science workshops for primary and secondary pupils, visits to the Centre, teaching resources, a mentoring scheme for senior pupils studying science, and an annual summer internship opportunity for one pupil. The project also initiated the first Craigmillar Science Festival in March 2017, held at the local vibrant community café and centre The White House, which is run as a social enterprise. The centre is a hub for Craigmillar and Niddrie residents, where the schools are based.
Kelsey Wallace undertook the first six-week paid internship during the summer of 2016 and went on to work at CRM the following summer whilst studying for her National 5 Biology.
The experience really boosted my interest in science and it’s made Biology easier for me. I feel more confident now about what I want to do when I leave school. When I first came to the Centre I felt awkward, but now I know what I’m doing. I feel as though I could go into another science building and get into it because I feel more confident.
As a result of Kelsey’s enthusiasm, Dr Sabrina Gogolok set up a mentoring scheme in which postgraduate students and post-doctoral staff at the Centre go into the High School every two weeks to mentor senior pupils taking science and maths subjects. Initially established to guide the young people through their exam period, the scheme’s success has come from the positive force the mentors provide in the pupils’ lives, whilst the mentors themselves report a strong sense of satisfaction in supporting the young people.
Institute for Regeneration and Repair
Recently, Kelsey was invited back to the CRM to take part in the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Centre for Tissue Repair which will partner with CRM to form the Institute for Regeneration and Repair. Once the CTR is fully occupied, the institute as a whole will host over 600 scientists, one of the world's largest cohorts of stem cell scientists on a single site.