Local pupils from Glebe Primary School and Old Oak Primary School travelled to the science laboratories where they peered down light microscopes to examine heart cells, neurons, cancer cells, fly maggots and more.
The budding scientists drew diagrams to record their findings and took part in an interactive quiz.
CSC scientists were on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment and offer an insight into their science. Demonstrator Hamlata Dewchand says, “Working with the children is always great fun and it is important to pass on our knowledge.”
Of course, many of the demonstrators use microscopes in their daily research. The students learned why scientists analyse cells from organisms such as yeast, worms and flies when studying conditions including cancer, brain disorders and heart diseases.
“The children had a fantastic time! They have written recounts about the trip and it has all been positive,” says Vikki Mehra, a Year 6 teacher from Glebe Primary School.
“It was an amazing day for us and the children valued the opportunity, which was special for them,” says Nick Prothero of Old Oak Primary School. “It was so delightful to see them genuinely focused and engaged in all the activities. Who knows, it may have kindled something lifelong in some of the kids.”
Would the students consider a career in science? Well, the workshops have certainly sparked their interest. Comments from the children include: “I would like to be a scientist”, “You’ve inspired me to become a researcher” and “I would like to come back to look at even more scientific things”.
Over 500 children have had the opportunity to take part in the CSC’s microscopy workshops. Dirk Dormann, who leads the centre’s microscopy laboratory and helps to organize the workshops, says “The children seem amazed and fascinated by the samples they can explore using the microscopes, so that makes it worthwhile for me.”