Paul did an outreach event with Year 8 students at the Archer Academy in London talking about cancer related zebrafish research.
The Wilson and Bianco labs hosted 10 A-level students for a week beginning 22nd October 2018. Following introductory talks, each student was given the opportunity to perform their own experiments. Using immunohistochemistry or in situ hybridisation, staining methods to visualise protein or messenger RNA respectively, they characterised the expression of specific genes key to left/right asymmetry in forebrain development. This was followed by guided confocal microscopy sessions to fully appreciate the results of their experiments. At the same time, students were also challenged with performing a molecular biology technique called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to assess changes to the DNA sequence of mutant zebrafish embryos. They were also exposed to behavioural neuroscience approaches in a short talk, thus completing a well-rounded programme that explores genes to behaviour of brain function.
On the final day, short presentations were given by the students on what they have learned. Needless to say, the teachers for the week were very impressed by the depth of knowledge acquired in a short space of time, given the large amount of information not covered in their studies.
We wish each and every student all the best on their next academic journey!
Since the in2scienceUK project was established in 2010 we’ve hosted students in the lab on a yearly basis.
Güliz was invited to discuss her research in sleep disturbances and their implications in Alzheimer’s patients at the Wellcome Trust free lunchtime event, Packed Lunch.
This summer, the Rihel lab hosted an AS level Student, Katrina Gadsby, for a week and a half.
Native Portuguese speakers Ana and Renato organised an exciting Portuguese science session at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School in London as part of the Native Scientist program
Visits to the American School in London (ASL)
Whilst in the lab Kara Cerveny visited the mid and upper-level science classes at the ASL to introduce students to developmental biology, evolution, and zebrafish embryology. By coordinating with the ASL teachers who arranged her visit, Kara tailored each of her visits so that students not only gain hands-on experience with zebrafish embryos but also learnt how basic scientific research is linked to the topic they were studying.
The last two years the Wilson lab has been hosting OpenLab sessions organised by the UCL student initiative OpenLabs. The OpenLabs events are organised to give small groups of UCL students from diverse disciplines access to cutting edge research labs at UCL. Matina Tsalavouta hosted the events almost every other fortnight from December 2011 until April 25th 2012 and from October 2012 and they have been a great success!
In just over an hour, small groups of students from a broad range of disciplines within UCL are introduced to the research undertaken by the Wilson lab and why the use of zebrafish is favoured as a model organism for developmental biology studies. By organising the events, OpenLabs "hope to give students the food for thought to reflect where to take stock in their scientific career and gain appreciation for the broad research opportunities available at UCL". Feedback from an open lab participant has been published in the UCL student publication, Pi magazine..
London international youth science Forum
From 2004 onwards, we have hosted annual visits organised by the London International Youth Science Forum. During their visit, we present talks and lab demonstrations for visiting students from over 50 countries around the world. Visit the Forums website if you are interested in participating.
Next Generation Science Programme
In 2006, we hosted students on the Next Generation Science Programme sponsored by the British Council Netherlands. This visit explored the theme "From Molecules to Behaviour" and gave both students and their teachers an opportunity to take science out of the classroom and participate in a programme of science-based activities in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at UCL. A pamphlet describing the outcome of the Programme is available here.
Clapton Girls' Academy
In November 2012 20 A level students from Clapton Girls' Academy visited the Wilson lab for an afternoon. They have the opportunity to gain some insight into the life of a scientist and to gather practical experience with zebrafish.
For the past few years, members of the A-level biology class from Wimbledon College have visited our lab to gain insight into the life of a scientist and to gather practical experience with our favourite model system, the zebrafish. During these visits, students tour our fish facility; learn to use microscopes to examine wild-type, mutant, and transgenic (fluorescent) zebrafish embryos; and interact with graduate student and post-doc researchers, hopefully gaining an appreciation of why we love science so much! After each visit, several students have been so excited by our work that they returned to the lab for their summer A-level work experience.
One of our students, Michael Adjei-Tabirade (pictured), had this to say about his work experience in our lab "The environment was calm and welcoming, and I always felt a sense of hard work and achievement from the scientists. The ideas and concepts they shared did not overwhelm, but were, at the same time, challenging. I am pleased and privileged to have gained work experience here."
Here is some more of the feedback from the last visit (November 2011) by Mr Adams class:
"It was great to see first-hand how work is conducted in labs and how several techniques are used to observe development in organisms"
"Very interesting insight into embryonic development and the application of transgenic processes. It also gave me a good idea of how laboratories work. I especially enjoyed witnessing the development of the zebrafish under the microscope."
"I learned a lot and would like to come back again. The facilities were excellent and the experiments were fun to do."
"It helped me with the understanding of how eyes actually develop. The microscopes were very high tech and easy to use. It is quite interesting to understand what type of research is going on in this field."
"I learnt a lot about how the right conditions may affect an organism and how the two sides of the brain are different. I also learnt many things about mutant organisms and how they are useful"