JIC gives unique experience to young scientists
Fourteen of Norfolk and Suffolk’s brightest young minds recently took part in an event hosted by the John Innes Centre to inspire the next generation of Scientists.
The year 10 students, aged just 15, were trained in key experimental techniques used by scientists at the JIC such as extracting DNA from snapdragon plants, separating proteins on a gel, learning to use micropipettes and cross- fertilising the model plant Arabidopsis. During the week of interactive activities, students learnt about the research going on at the JIC and took part in a GM debate. They tried out advanced mathematics in computational biology by having a go a building a virtual plant, part of a JIC research project studying plant growth and development.
Students also got to learn about science communication and chat to PhD students before starting two days of work placements in laboratories at the JIC or partner institutes the Institute of Food Research and The Sainsbury Laboratory.
At the end of the week students made formal presentations about their experiences and presented these to each other, scientists from across site and the student’s school teachers who visited the JIC for the afternoon.
Science Camp organiser Samantha Fox said “This was an access all areas opportunity for these young people to get an insight into daily life at the research park few members of the public ever get to experience”
Students were selected by application to take part in this event and are from many different schools across the county. Joining them was also a 16 year old student who travelled all the way from the USA to visit the JIC.
“These are certainly talented young people and it will be very exciting to follow their careers in the future, hopefully some will return to the JIC.”