£10,000 Equipment Donated to Help Train Tomorrow's Teachers
|IN THE RIGHT HANDS: The University of Leicester School of Education gets £10,000 worth of specialist scientific equipment to help train a new generation of teachers|
biotechnology equipment has been donated by Pfizer and Bio-Rad as part of a
National Year of Science project. This is part of a national initiative in which
Pfizer and Bio-Rad have joined forces to install £300,000 worth of hi-tech
biotechnology equipment in 31 teacher-training institutions in the UK.
Biology tutor Jenny Harrison, of the School of Education, said: "This new
equipment has already enabled hands-on practical training for Biology and
Science student teachers. Benefits have already extended to some teachers of
partner schools in Leicester City, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire through
project will be extended to include a loan scheme of the hardware, with schools
making the necessary purchases of the consumables directly from Bio-Rad. Each
set of equipment can be used to conduct four modern biotechnology practicals for
25 students at a time. These are: DNA Fingerprinting, Bacterial Transformation
(genetically altering bacteria with a bioluminescent jellyfish gene),
purification of a useful protein, and the Nobel Prize winning technique
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). The practicals are aimed at Post-16 Biology
students and are all linked to current examination specifications."
Harrison said that there had been a very positive response to the workshops that
had been put on using the new equipment.
Adams, Academic Liaison Manager at Pfizer, has said, "The benefits of this
joint venture will reach hundreds of students of all ages," and added,
"We hope that this project will help improve their level of science
education, and encourage them to look seriously at considering science as a
viable and interesting career".
Dominic Delaney, BioEducation Project Manager at Bio-Rad Laboratories, agrees
that this opportunity will hopefully encourage students to seek careers in
science: "This is a bold and innovative project which will make a
significant and long lasting impact on the way biology is taught in the
the auspices of the national 'Science Year' programme, this donation can be seen
in a much wider context. Professor Nigel
Paine, Director of Science Year said: ''A core part of Science Year is to bring
science in the real world into schools so that young people can get a sense of
what working in science is really like, and taste the discovery and excitement
of exploration. This Bio-Rad/Pfizer
initiative is an important contribution to that process.''
Harrison is currently exploring with Bio-Rad the possibility of funding an
evaluation project to monitor the particular impact on school students of these
TO NEWSDESK: For more information, contact Jenny Harrison, School of Education,
Lecturer in Education and Biology/Science PGCE tutor, telephone 0116 252 3673.
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.