The four half-day events, which were organised by the University's Department of Life Sciences, proved extremely popular with all of them being over-subscribed. According to a survey that students were asked to fill out after the event, more than 30 per cent of the students said that they are now more likely to apply to university. More science outreach events are planned this year, with the University recently hosting the Chemistry and Biology students of The London Academy of Excellence.
In the feedback questionnaires for the events for The London Academy of Excellence, 54 per cent of students said that they would be more likely to apply to university after the sessions. In fact, the pupils enjoyed the taster sessions so much that they wrote a piece about it in their student magazine. “It really helped to solidify my interests in pursuing biochemistry at a degree level,” one student wrote.
Professor Annie Bligh, Head of the Department of Life Sciences, said: “The University started as an institution that brought scientific discoveries of the age to the attention of the public. In Life Sciences, we are trying to continue that legacy into the 21st century by giving the scientists of tomorrow a glimpse of what Biochemistry or Pharmacology can enable them to do. We try to illuminate, to help students in their choice of subjects that can be studied at university. I know my staff, they get a genuine pleasure from the experience and from the reaction of the students.”
Dr Mark Odell, Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Applied Biology, ran the events for lower sixth form students. He said: “Doing experiments to find things out is the very essence of science. Wonder why something happens – or what will happen – then experiment with the world of nature to see what does happen. We try to allow students to see that a question is where all of science starts, but the real fun is in finding out the answer.”
Find out more about Biosciences at the University of Westminster.