L'Oreal Young Scientists Centre Visit To Mark Darwin's 200th Birthday

On Monday 29th April 2019, our A-Level Biology and BTEC Applied Science students attended a workshop held at The L'Oreal Young Scientists Centre at The Royal Institution to mark Charles Darwin's 200th birthday.

The trip was organised by Izabela Martin (Biology Teacher at Haringey Sixth Form College) in partnership with the Wellcome Trust to demonstrate how we as a species and chimpanzees have evolved to lose the ability to taste Phenylthiocarbamide (PTC).

Izabela's take on the trip - "As an RI member attending their engaging and mind-expanding lecturers and programmes, I expected the outstanding delivery and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to take my students to enhance their practical and technical skills for them to experience the wonders of science, stimulate their learning experience, finding ways to challenge and stretch, to motivate them and more important - preserve their interest for science." 

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It was a great introduction to many of the essential techniques used in genetics research. Students from various teaching groups gained valuable, enhanced hand on practical and technical skills to support their learning in Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Gel Electrophoresis.

Anjna Vara, Senior Science Technician at Haringey Sixth Form College said "This learning will be an excellent example for each student to refer to as work experience gained for university application on their personal statement.

All the students were very much engaged in learning and fully participating in all the activities throughout the day at the institute.

I was very impressed with the excellent behaviour of all our students who attended. They showed outstanding maturity to the institute as Haringey Sixth College students. They did the college proud!"

 

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Students performed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR), both restriction digest and gel electrophoresis in the analysis of their own DNA from the collected cheek cells.

Aryan Anubis, A-Level Biology student at Haringey Sixth Form College commented "We also had the intriguing opportunity to prepare for year 2 practicals by using specialised and expensive equipment such as a centrifuge and the hollowed PCR machine (polymerase chain reaction). The museum itself was an honour to see. Who wouldn’t get amazed at the place where ten of the elements we have to learn about for the end of year exams where made."

 

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Gladys Agyemang, BTEC Level 2 Applied Science student at Haringey Sixth Form College said "The workshop at RI was a great experience and it really increased my interest in science.

I learnt a lot of new and interesting techniques which I have seen on the TV programmes; I was able to engage in everything that took place like in those programmes.

I can personally say it was a perfect workshop and the whole environment and equipment used were a really good and high standard. It increased my confidence in the field of science and choosing to further my career in this field."

I would really love to go there again (or to work there) if I get another chance."

Russ Lawrance, Principal and CEO of Haringey Sixth Form College said "I am pleased that our academic staff take the time to invest in improving the quality of education for our students at our college. Balancing practical experience alongside the theoretical classroom-based study is a great way to keep students engaged and always thinking ahead with their future career options."

 

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