School teams up with University to tackle heart disease

Two Tapon School pupils at Authentic Biology eventSixth-form pupils have teamed up with scientists at the University of Sheffield to tackle the challenges of real biomedical science in their school laboratories.

The initiative, funded by science research charity The Wellcome Trust, is part of a national project called Authentic Biology and has seen the University’s Department of Biomedical Science working with students from Tapton School in Sheffield to research heart disease.

The students conduct their research in school and present their results at an annual conference, the last of which was held at The Wellcome Trust in London.  Following their talks the students faced wide ranging questions from the audience, including Lord Winston FRS and the Director of The Wellcome Trust, Professor Jeremy Farrar.

Professor Matthew Holley who leads the collaboration for the University said the student presentations had shown a high level of insight and understanding.

Tapton pupils at Wellcome Trust HQ LondonIn January the pupils were visited in school by leading science educator Sir John Holman, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the University of York and Senior Education Adviser to The Wellcome Trust.

Talking about the project, Sir John said: "School-based research like this is about as good as it gets in education."

The students were clearly inspired by the event.  Olivia Jackson, who is taking her A levels in 2014, said "I found the symposium really interesting.  Having the opportunity to present our research and speaking to experts in the field was exciting.  It really inspired me to pursue a career involving scientific research in the future".

Haleema Zaman said that "The Authentic Biology symposium gave me lots of information about life as a science researcher. I especially enjoyed the talks by Lord Winston and Professor Russell. They were inspirational".

Sreenidhi Athi added that "The Authentic Biology symposium was a great experience. The presentations from the different schools were fascinating and made me realise all the opportunities that studying science gives".

More information about the Department of Biomedical Science, its degree programmes and world leading research, can be found on the Department of Biomedical Science website