Electrifying life sciences for school students

Over the last few months we have been able to re-start our schools engagement programme again, reaching students even while they are learning from home.

We would not have been able to achieve this without the hard work of our partners, Education Business Partnerships based in West Berkshire, and taking part in their Hi-Tech Horizons programme, which introduces school students to businesses in the tech industry.

Being able to reach students is important to us here at the Franklin as we aspire not only to do great science, but also to inspire the next generation of scientists. To this end, we have set an ambitious target to reach 10,000 students per year in state schools in our local area. This engagement with local schools is funded by Wellcome through our Electrifying Life Science grant, find out more about this grant here.

During the online sessions, we discuss Rosalind Franklin’s work, and the work of The Franklin with a focus on the Electrifying Life Science projects. Engaging the students in interactive activities – we encourage students to consider more deeply why we do certain science projects and possible criteria on which to assess projects. It is great to see how well the students have engaged with these activities.

Caitlin Higgott, communications officer at The Franklin, leading the interactive session from home
Students from The Downs School at a workshop hosted by the Franklin in 2019. Photograph by: Sean Dillow

Caitlin Higgott, communications officer at The Franklin said “Moving engagement online was a challenge, but the students we are working with have responded really well to the sessions. We have been so impressed with the questions they pose, their knowledge and enthusiasm for science. Here at The Franklin, we think it is vital to show local children the opportunities and work taking place right on their doorstep. We hope to see some these students back for visits, work experience, and in time, jobs and study at The Franklin.”

We look forward to continuing to find new ways to engage pupils with our research, and hope that we can return to schools in person once it is safe to do so.

The Rosalind Franklin Institute is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, registration number 11266143. We are a Registered Charity, number 1179810.