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Scientists' Collaborative Project with Educators

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Vision 

The Scientists' Collaborative Project with Educators (SCoPE) aims to bring contemporary research to GCSE and A-level students in England and Wales to support parts of the biology curriculum (e.g. stem cells, cell differentiation, gene engineering, DNA structure) which feature in exams and in Gurdon Institute research. It will also help students to think critically about science, understand the relevance of the topics they are studying and see research as a pertinent and attractive career choice. We will do this by co-creating teaching materials with A-level and GCSE teachers and then actively supporting teachers across the UK to take up the materials for use in their teaching. 

  

Aims and outcomes 

Through dialogue between nine teachers and nine scientists, we aim to create three practical ‘toolkits’ for use in biology classrooms. 

The toolkits will be connected to the national curriculum and strongly linked to our research. The PE team will recruit teachers and group them with scientists from the labs involved in this proposal, whose research relates to many topics on the AS/A/GCSE-level curriculum, including laboratory techniques (e.g. CRISPR) and specific subjects (e.g. cell differentiation). 

Toolkits could include laboratory materials, videos, animations and more, and would be developed with the help of professional designers and an education/learning specialist. The project will be managed by the PE team.

SCoPE will foster a professional network between scientists and teachers. Scientists will develop greater understanding of how their research fits in with and is perceived by the education system and students 9-10. Teachers will deepen their knowledge of fundamental biology and current research techniques, exposing their students to new materials and information they may not otherwise have access to.Connecting lessons to current research will enable students to see how these topics are relevant to their lives, therefore enriching their learning. 

 

Collaborators

The SCoPE project will be a collaboration between:

  • Scientists from the Gurdon Institute who are interested in being part of a long-term, dialogical and creative PE project linked to education
  • State school AS/A/GCSE-level teachers. The pilot year will rely on local teachers with whom we have collaborated in the past
  • Consultant education/learning specialists to attend meetings with teachers and scientists and help guide toolkit production
  • Professional designers or game developers specialised in products related to science and education
  • Faculty of Education, through the expertise of Dr Mark Winterbottom who will lead the evaluation of the project
  • The Gurdon Institute Public Engagement team who will coordinate and manage the project and its evaluation