• Molecular biology masterclasses – developing practical skills and building links with Higher Education in years 12/13

      Hooley, Paul; Cooper, Phillippa; Skidmore, Nick (Higher Education Academy, 2008)
      A one day practical course in molecular biology skills suitable for year 12/13 students is described. Colleagues from partner schools and colleges were trained by university staff in basic techniques and then collaborated in the design of a course suitable for their own students. Participants carried out a transformation of E.coli cells with a plasmid and cut lambda virus DNA with restriction enzymes for display via agarose gel electrophoresis. Practical demonstrations of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and fermentation technology were also given. An evaluation of year 12/13 student responses revealed considerable enthusiasm for the activities.