The School of Life Sciences Outreach Society put on an activity day for 60 GCSE students from a number of local schools recently to help them learn more about research.
Student volunteers from the School of Life Sciences helped to deliver various genetic, physiology and microscopy based experiments including extracting DNA from strawberries and measuring lung function using a vitalograph – a cardio-respiratory diagnostic device.
After a series of experiments relating to their studies, pupils attended a fun and interactive lecture delivered by the Head of the School of Life Sciences, Professor Blair Grubb, entitled ‘the Red Hot Chilli Peppers’. The lecture examined how the active ingredient of chilli peppers, capsaicin, can be used to uncover how mammals sense thermal pain.
As part of the activities, students and teachers volunteered to eat chillies in the name of science as they learnt about how and why we feel pain in response to heat.
This new venture was the first of its kind organised by the fast-growing Life Sciences Outreach Society which was set up in 2014.
Professor Grubb, said: “With help from staff, the Widening Participation and Outreach team and volunteers, the day was a great success and was received very positively by all those attending.
“We look forward to hosting many future events that aim to encourage pupils to consider science and higher education as a future pathway.”
For more information about the Life Sciences Outreach Society please click here.