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The Department has carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and has opened to allow research work to take place. To ensure the safety of our staff, a range of measures to reduce building occupancy and allow strict social distancing have been introduced, including increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. We are currently not accepting visitors so please continue to contact us by email until further notice.

Department of Plant Sciences

Schools outreach by the Cambridge Colleges BioScience Experience project

The Department has been hosting the Cambridge Colleges BioScience Experience over the last few weeks in a bid to inspire the next generation of plant scientists. A total of 92 Year 11 students from comprehensive schools schools across the country have visited us as part of the University's schools outreach work. Dr Katharine Hubbard gave the students a mini-lecture on Food Security, and then led a practical class in the teaching lab, giving the students an opportunity to experience an undergraduate practical class.

A really fun afternoon was had in the lab by all. Students isolated chloroplasts from lettuce leaves, extracted chlorophyll, worked out how big a chloroplast is and investigated how herbicides work. Feedback on the visits was overwhelmingly positive from both students and teachers:

  • "Gave a great insight into the Biology of plants"
  • "Really fun and nice to use fancy equipment"
  • "Incredibly enthusiastic people running the session with a passion that spreads. Loved it!"
  • "I found Cambridge enriching. It encouraged students to raise their aspirations"

The Cambridge Colleges BioScience Experience project will interact with 500 students over 2 years, and is funded by the University Widening Participation Project Fund. We look forward to more school visits later in the year.