Lab Coat Learning Day for Morecambe Students

Lab Coat Learning

North West Cancer Research has played host to St Mary’s Primary School in Morecambe for a day of Lab Coat Learning to celebrate British Science Week.

Year 6 students were welcomed to cancer research labs at Lancaster University, where NWCR funds life-saving research and got hands on with science workshops, including an interactive DNA session run by Dr Andrew Fielding and Postdoctoral Researcher, Tom Ward.

After an introductory presentation on DNA and genetics, the students took part in an experiment that saw them extract DNA from different fruits and analyse the results while comparing their findings with their classmates. Students were also encouraged to talk to researchers about their work and learn as much as they could about life in the lab with a lively Q&A session.

Workshops continued as Community Fundraiser for NWCR, Charlotte, educated the students on common causes of cancer, ways to reduce their risk and how to spot signs and symptoms of cancer, before following up with a pop quiz that saw the lively bunch shouting out what they had learnt throughout the session.

The day ended on a sweet note with a fun cell activity, creating a replica DNA cell using edible treats before the students cut loose with a treasure hunt around campus, organised by Lancaster University Student’s Union (LUSU).

Principal of St Mary’s Primary School, Mr Harrison, said: “Our pupils were inspired by ‘real life’ science in an inspirational learning environment. The support and enthusiasm from the lecturers and researchers at North West Cancer Research was infectious and our young scientists have deepened their scientific knowledge and understanding of the importance of investment in cancer research.

“This extraordinary partnership seeks to improve the prospects of developing the scientists and researchers of the future in a bid to make a difference to all of our lives.

“When children and university mix, we have a magical compound!”

           

The science workshops at Lancaster University have been introduced recently as part of a larger Lab Coat Learning project from the Charity, which aims to introduce students across North West and North Wales to cancer awareness and the crucial research taking place at University of Liverpool, Lancaster University and Bangor University.

Further to university visits, Community Fundraisers across the region will also be offering workshops and presentations in schools, as well as providing teachers with curriculum-friendly worksheets centred around cancer awareness, risk and prevention.

Dr Andrew Fielding said of the Lab Coat Learning sessions: “It’s so important to be educating on cancer at a young age to help reduce risk and the Lab Coat Learning days are a great opportunity to introduce local children to the University and get them familiar with our research in a fun, practical way.

“It’s great to see the students enjoying something they wouldn’t normally get to do and sparking the minds of future scientists.”

You can find out more about Lab Coat Learning and request your pack here or email charlotteellwood@nwcr.org for more information.

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