Students from Sir Roger Manwood’s School in Sandwich have been given the opportunity to conduct experiments in a professional laboratory at Discovery Park, Europe’s leading science and technology park.
The project is being managed through Discovery Park tenant, AlgaeCytes, an innovative science business that develops and commercialises algae derived bioactive ingredients. There are fourteen AS Level Biology students taking part in the 8-week practical project, which began this week. The laboratory that the students will be working from has been donated by Discovery Park.
The project will see students learn microbiology techniques; from growing and monitoring the growth of algae, to monitoring how bacteria affect the growth of algae and conducting cell counts. The experience will see them learn techniques usually taught at university level. They will get to see firsthand how professionals conduct experiments and deliver data. Students will then present their findings and results at the end of the project.
AlgaeCyte’s youngest Research Technician, Leah Lewington-Pearce will be leading the workshops. Leah and John Dodd, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of AlgaeCytes, have designed the student programme together.
John Dodd said:
“We are glad to be working with Discovery Park to extend what we do in the laboratory, as a business, out to the community. We believe events like this one will help to generate the scientists of the future who may one day want to work for us.
“It’s important for us to share knowledge with students and show the younger generation that they can extend their passion for science into a career. We hope that at least a couple of the students will think more seriously about studying science at university level after taking part in our project.”
Kimberley Anderson, Project Manager at Discovery Park, said:
“Working with our local schools is an important part of our community activity and I am delighted that we have been able to support this project.”
Jackie Wilson and Victoria Grist, biology teachers at Sir Roger Manwood’s School attended Discovery Park with their students and took part in the activities. Victoria Grist said:
“It’s really exciting for our students to get experience conducting research experiments in a state-of-the-art, professional lab. We think it is important for students to get a view of science outside of the school curriculum. Schools simply do not have the funding or equipment to facilitate these types of advanced experiments, so businesses stepping forward and inviting students into their workplaces will give our students an invaluable experience.
Jackie Wilson added:
“Sir Roger Manwood’s School is grateful to AlgaeCytes and Discovery Park for providing this opportunity for our students.”