Students from the new University Technical College (UTC) Cambridge have been taking part in a 6-week challenge project developed by the LMB. The year 10 students were tasked to design a scientific laboratory facility. As part of the project they learnt about key areas of design and management, including; health and safety, legislation, scientific requirements and best practice. LMB staff and researchers visited the UTC to teach the students about their science and work, and then the students visited several local laboratories, including facilities at the world-leading LMB.
The UTC is a new regional centre for science education. It is an academy school open to 14-19 year old students with a passion for science. UTC Cambridge opened in September 2014 in a £10 million state-of-the-art building next to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Sponsored by employers, university bodies and colleges, the UTC offers young people an innovative and specialist education. In addition to the MRC, sponsors of UTC Cambridge include the Babraham Institute, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Cambridge University Health Partners. The collaboration aims to inspire future generations of research technicians and scientists, providing them with the skills and techniques that will help them to get careers in the science sector. It will also provide employers with a confident, enthusiastic and highly skilled workforce.
The students involved in the challenge project created posters of their finished design. Visitors from the sponsoring organisations were invited to an event at the UTC to mark the end of the project, where the students presented their posters. Theresa Langford, LMB coordinator for the project commented “I have been enormously impressed with how well the students have engaged with the project, and how much they’ve learned”.
It is hoped that this partnership will continue for years to come and provide an opportunity for students to gain a deeper insight into the working of a research laboratory and the necessary skills to apply for future jobs at both the LMB and elsewhere.