Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting TIMES NEWS to 80360, or email us
Science under the microscope as students visit MRC's National Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill
Britain’s flagship medical research institute welcomed hundreds of sixth form students for a voyage of scientific discovery this week.
The towering gothic building of the MRC’s National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), in The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, opened its doors for a series of hands-on science workshops.
A total of 360 teenagers from 22 schools across north London and Hertfordshire got a taste of life as a PhD student and took part in a number of real-life medical experiments.
Among the fascinating workshops was the chance to identify the malaria parasite on real mosquitoes and to view the heartbeat of a chick embryo growing inside an egg.
Director of studies Donna Brown said: “We want to engage with local schools and show them what science is about. These could be the scientists of the future and we want to increase participation in science among young people.”
Pupils were given five minutes at each science station where some of the NIMR’s 500 scientists showed them their research which, among other things, is being used to find cures and medicines for illnesses and diseases.
Organiser Lizzi Underwood, who recently obtained her PhD, said: “These are the things we do every day here. I hope they’re inspired and it makes them want to pursue a career in science but even if they don’t, it’s a good chance to show them we’re not all middle aged men in white coats.”
Several Barnet schools took part, including students from Queen Elizabeth’s Boys’ School in High Barnet.
Sixth form student Neil Lenus, 17, said: “It has been fascinating. I didn’t know what to expect but they put everything in terms we were able to understand and it gave us a real idea of where science could be going in the future.”