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"