LJMU catalyst programme success

20 April 2011

23 students from across Greater Merseyside recently spent three days of their Spring Break at the University, learning about theoretical and practical science, as well as related careers in the science and health industry.

Image of Dr Burke holding test tubeThis is the third year that LJMU has run the initiative, thanks to funding from the Aimhigher Programme, which nears its completion in July 2011.

Dr Patricia Burke, Faculty of Science, planned and delivered three days of informative, interactive and enjoyable activities, teaching the Year 10 students different techniques and concepts surrounding Cell Biology and DNA Profiling.

Students from Kirkby Sports College, Pensby High School for Girls, Cowley Language College, Hillside High School and St Peter and Paul Catholic College attended the programme and all acted as excellent representatives of their schools.Through a series of classroom based activities and interactive sessions they covered the following:

  • Health and Safety in the laboratory
  • Extraction of human cheek cells 
  • Preparing and casting an Agarose Gel Polymerase
  • Chain Reaction (PCR); set-up & programming
  • Extraction of Deoxyribonucleic Acid

Image of group of year 10 students doing experiment in labThey were assisted throughout their sessions by current second year Science students and Sue Lewis and the team of technical officers based at the James Parsons Building. Students also had the opportunity to see an electron microscope in action, with one lucky student getting a strand of her hair coated in gold plate, in order that it could be looked at in detail using the high-powered microscope.

On the final afternoon pupils were also shown around student accommodation and took part in an interactive quiz about university life. The combination of classroom and lab-based learning enabled pupils to gain a deeper understanding of the subject and also of university learning and teaching methods. The visit also helped increased awareness of the various progression routes associated with health/science courses.

If you would like any more information about the programme or would be interested in working with the Aimhigher Team on other projects then please contact Paul Ireland, Michael Monaghan or Amanda Davis at Aimhigher@ljmu.ac.uk or call 0151 904 6383

Page last modified by Corporate Communications on 20 April 2011.
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