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University is worth it!

posted 14 Jan 2014, 02:16 by Karen Bricknell   [ updated 14 Jan 2014, 02:17 ]
There are 35000 courses to choose from and many careers that traditionally did not need a degree now do!

The Biology trip in December to Portsmouth University was a great experience for us and it was very informative. There was a range of practical activities to do and various lectures about studying at university – we were doing something all the time. We met researchers in Biochemistry, Microbiology, undergraduates in Marine Biology and Forensic Science.

We enjoyed looking at different embryonic stages of a tadpole’s development (Xenopus laevis) using the light microscope to see the transitions from each stage.  Electrophoresis of DNA was also fun; doing the practical helped us to understand that research work takes years to carry out. As well as this, Physics and Chemistry were included when using the transmission and scanning electron microscopes. Giant electromagnets (123000 V) are used to focus a beam of electrons from a tungsten filament onto a specimen revealing its ultrastructure. We watched a specimen being prepared, it was coated in gold whilst surrounded by the gas argon and this created a plasma effect!

The lectures gave valuable information about university life, including finance, accommodation and the general experience – we also had a tour. However, this would not have been possible without Dr S Cragg, Dr D Gowers, Prof M Guille and the University’s ambassadors, thank you. Overall it was a great day and we can recommend it. It reassured some students that they want to go to university and sparked an interest in Biology as a subject to study.

Written by Alice Lyons (Year 11), Stephen Evans (Year 11) and Leah Williams (Year 12) 


Biology trip to Portsmouth University