LMB inspires the next generation of scientists with UTCC student interactions

Mouse House challenge designsThe LMB has continued its collaboration with the University Technical College Cambridge (UTCC), with a series of visits, talks and a challenge project to ‘Design a Mouse House’. The UTCC is a regional centre for science education, open to 14-19 year old students with a passion for science.

Students with Electron microscopeEarlier in the year, fifty year 12 students visited the LMB to see our electron microscopes (EM) in action. The students study microscopy as part of their A-Level biology course and a tour of the LMB’s EM facility gave them a closer look at how we use this equipment. They were able to operate the smaller EMs to see how we can view virus particles and then had a tour of the cryo-EM facility to see the latest cutting-edge work on gathering atomic resolution images of biological structures.

For the second year running, the LMB has run a ‘Design a mouse house’ challenge project. The nine-week project for year 10 students teaches them about key areas of design and management, including: legislation, health and safety, ethics and responsibilities, scientific requirements and best practice. As part of the project the students visited several local laboratories, including facilities at the LMB, and these were a great success, “Many thanks for organising such a fantastic day, the feedback has been really positive, everyone I have spoken to has had a great day” commented Alistair Easterfield, UTC Cambridge Director of Science.

David Robinson with UTCC studentsThe project also involved LMB staff and researchers visiting the UTCC to teach the students about their science and work. Amongst the talks this year was one by LMB’s Chief Engineer, David Robinson, who spoke about ‘Energy and energy saving activities in animal facilities’. At the end of the challenge project, the students produced posters of their designs, which were displayed and judged at a showcase event at the UTCC.

The MRC is a signatory of the ‘Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK’, which is a declaration of commitment to enhance the communication about the use of animals in scientific research.

Further references:

University Technical College Cambridge
LMB Introduction to Animal Research
LMB Scientists help UTCC students design a laboratory
MRC research involving animals