Schools benefit from Science Visits

School pupils from Gwynedd and Anglesey took part in exciting experiments, challenges and demonstrations – with some even getting their hands dirty at Henfaes farm - during visits to the University as part of Bangor Science Festival.

Two successful ‘Ecoscience Days’ were held in the Brambell Building, which is home to the University’s biology labs and Natural History Museum. Around 200 pupils from ten schools were treated to brief talks by eminent researchers before participating in a variety of hands-on activities such as DNA extraction, identification of microbeasts in soil, experiments on the behaviour of plankton, biomedical techniques and the use of Global Information Systems.

They explored weird and wonderful displays including neuro-imaging and studies of fruit fly brains, biocomposite materials and ocean currents and they learned about the “oldest animal on earth” and the “peat bog time bomb”. All of this was followed by a “Flash-bang” Chemistry Show hosted by Dr Robin Wheldon-Williams.

Dr Rosanna Robinson, who organized the events said, “This is the second year of hosting Ecoscience Days, which once again were a great success. The events focused on the very relevant topics of sustainability and the environment and all the demonstrations were designed to support biology, chemistry and physics in the Key Stage 4 Science curriculum.”

Another event for young people that was held alongside Ecoscience Day also proved a hit. The University’s School of Environment, Natural Resources & Geography (SENRGY) and the Reaching Higher Partnership held a series of agriculture-related activities and demonstrations at the University’s Henfaes Farm to highlight the role that agriculture plays in food production and in protecting the environment.

Dr Prysor Williams of SENRGY said, “Much of the press and media coverage relating to agriculture has very little mention of the crucial role the industry plays in producing food, protecting the environment and maintaining the rural economy.

 “Agriculture is now more important than ever, and with an ever expanding world population and the threat of Climate Change, it will play a key role in solving some of our greatest problems. It was fantastic that these pupils got to learn about agriculture through a varied programme of activities which will hopefully make them consider a career in the industry”. 

Publication date: 12 April 2011