The Sainsbury Laboratory was pleased to collaborate with Science and Plants for Schools on a ‘Train the Trainer’ event. Aimed at PGCE biology tutors and others involved in teacher training, Train the Trainer highlighted a wide range of new plant science based practicals and online resources suitable for secondary school use.
Over the course of two days, twenty two participants tried over a dozen practicals for themselves using the Lab’s facilities and standard school science equipment lent by nearby Netherhall School; the delegates were reassured that the practicals were reproducible without necessarily needing the resources of a world class research laboratory!
As the delegates cloned cauliflowers, looked at pollen under microscopes and made algal balls, they had the chance to ask questions of the scientists and teachers who developed the practicals, share best practice with each other and discuss recent changes to the science curriculum. New developments in plant research were highlighted by an evening talk by Dr Beverly Glover from the Department of Plant Sciences, and the attendees were also given a tour of the university’s extensive Botanic Garden.
The aim of this event was to give PGCE biology tutors new ideas, new resources, confidence and practice in teaching plant science. Feedback praised everything from the utility and viability of the practicals to the inspirational setting of the Lab to the food and evening lecture. One delegate claimed that this was ‘the best CPD (continuing professional development) course I have been on in over 20 years of going to them’.