Meet the Expert

CVR scientists regularly arrange and deliver ‘meet the expert’ activities at Glasgow Science Centre (GSC). These events centre around a simple 10-minute activity that is suitable for both children and adults. Three such activities have been developed so far:

Firstly, a simple experiment to extract DNA from strawberries that was originally delivered to coincide with the arrival at GSC of a new exhibit entitled 'inside DNA’.

At subsequent events, CVR staff have also delivered a ‘build a virus’ activity in which participants learn about the shape and structure of viruses by building a model from air-dough.

Dr David Bhella demonstrating an activity to a school pupil.

More recently, latex agglutination tests have been performed on fake stool samples to look for the presence of a suspected virus, this hands-on activity has proved very popular with participants.

These activities are highly valued by participants who enjoy engaging with real scientists and learning about more about science happening in Scotland.

At subsequent events, CVR staff have also delivered a ‘build a virus’ activity in which participants learn about the shape and structure of viruses by building a model from air-dough.

Child and member of CVR staff taking part in Build a virus activity.

 

Glasgow Science Festival

Every summer the University of Glasgow hosts the Glasgow Science Festival, two weeks of public engagement events aimed at promoting science, engineering and technology research to both schools and public audiences.

The CVR has teamed up with scientists from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology to deliver a schools workshop: 'Be a Microbiologist'.

Aimed at S5-S6 school students (15 to 17 years old), this event gives participants the opportunity to learn about the diagnosis of microbial diseases. David Bhella, Colin Loney, Marion McElwee and Suzana Misbah were involved in this workshop.

The workshop involves students performing a series of tests to investigate an outbreak of a suspected new virus amongst travellers that have just returned to Glasgow from the Democratic Republic of Congo.    

This activity supports pupil development in understanding the impact of science and disease on society, furthermore the students are called upon to engage with the challenging ethical aspects of public-health management.

Image of lab technician Colin Loney and students during workshop

APPLICATIONS OF DNA TECHNOLOGY WORKSHOP

The DNA technology workshop was developed by Dr David Bhella in collaboration with the Science Education team at Glasgow Science Centre.

 DNA Workshop 2

This workshop provides secondary school pupils with high quality teaching and practical experience of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Gel Electrophoresis; cutting edge molecular biology techniques that cannot be taught in schools owing to the prohibitive costs of equipment and reagents.

This workshop is now part of Glasgow Science Centre's core education programme and runs for four days every October and continues to be extremely popular with students and teachers alike.

Glasgow Science Centre logo