School activities

We love getting out of the lab and talking to the public about our work. Doing outreach activities, such as public lectures or going into schools makes us think about the ‘bigger picture’ around our work. We gain a lot from speaking with the public; hearing what the public think of our work is great, so don’t hesitate to give feedback.

For all scientists doing outreach activities, getting feedback is very useful to get a clearer idea of whether our message has been understood.

We have given a number of talks in schools. National Science and Engineering Week and Festival Of The Mind also provide the opportunity to cover a range of subjects. However, teachers are particular interested in activities that are Curriculum linked.

Genotype to Phenotype

Drawing fish.
A school girl drawing fish.

Are you struggling to get across to your students how a strand of DNA can form a recipe for an organism? Using this activity students are given a random selection of paper DNA strips that represent a fish’s genotype. They then read the DNA recipe to discover the phenotype of their fish and create a final drawing of the fish.

Students learn that differences in the DNA code lead to different traits by comparing their DNA and fish drawings with the rest of the class. It can also be used to discuss the adaptations of each fish, and the habitats they may live in.

You can find detailed information about this activity from online resources such as: A Recipe For Traits from The University of Utah.