- Last Updated: 07 March 2017 07 March 2017
We are delighted to share with you our news that the following Year 12 students did us proud yesterday, when they participated in the Mayor of Enfield Science Award Biology Challenge.
Rebekah Jordon, Aaliyah Boreland, Catrina Conway & Alex Fitzpatrick
1st Place - Catrina Conway
2nd Place - Rebekah Jordon
Please see below to read their accounts of what was a great day.
Please read the following student accounts from the day.
"The experience was very inspiring and it’s reminded me of why I want to work in the science industry.
Throughout the day, the four of us (Rebekah, Alex, Aaliyah and I) got to learn and experience what forensic scientists do on a day-to-day basis. We were shown a fake crime scene in which we had to find out, using evidence collected and analysed, how a man died. We observed objects found at the scene e.g. bird feathers and leaves, and then had to identify the different species each belonged to.
We also analysed blood samples collected from the scene and from blood samples obtained from a few recent crime scenes nearby. This enabled us to determine the blood type of each sample therefore allowing us to link any incidents and rule out ones not related to the crime that we were investigating.
Lastly, we analysed DNA samples collected at various local crime scenes and also from this crime scene. We then had strong evidence connecting a break-in at a local bird sanctuary with the crime that we are investigating as it showed that the DNA samples were similar.
This led my partner and I to draw the conclusion that the deceased man was a bird poacher and had climbed a tree in order to steal some eggs. A struggle between him and some birds caused him to fall out of the tree, from a height, and die.
It was a very challenging day and also really insightful; it enabled me to see the techniques that forensic scientists use in order to identify criminals. Furthermore, it gave me the chance to experience a possible future career choice for me and inspired me to carry on working hard so that I can pursue a successful career in science.
I hope to go on to obtain a degree in biological science and work in the healthcare sector, researching cures and treatments for diseases."
"I was fortunate to take part in this experience and it was a very insightful look into what a job in the science industry would entail. After getting over the initial unfamiliarity of being placed in groups with people from other schools, we all soon got on with the task in hand. After first examining the 'crime scene' we noted down observations in a sketch and came up with our first hypothesis. We then used analysis of blood samples collected from the 'body', crime scene and some other places to develop our first thoughts. One of the most challenging activities, that took a lot of patience, was identifying bird feathers and leaves found at the scene using pictures given to us. My favourite part was using Gel Electrophoresis to test possible matches between the different DNA of suspects. This was a technique new to us all, and meant we could develop our practical skills. All of these processes were used in our final theory of the possible murder of the deceased, with my team deciding that it was in fact an accident.
The whole day was an extremely fun experience, a great way to meet new people and developing my confidence. It showed us all the real life applications of what we learn and allowed us to take our knowledge past what would be possible in lessons."
"On Tuesday 28th February, we travelled to Middlesex University to take part in the Mayors award for Science.We were put into pairs with people from other schools and set a task to report a crime scene. In our pairs we were shown a "dead body" that had experienced fatal injuries to the head and legs and were not told what happened to him. Then, we were taken to a lab to experiment on blood samples and DNA. From this we learnt skills like: teamwork, creative thinking, confidence (socially), how to use scientific equipment and how to identify links between evidence. At the end of the day we all attended a certificate ceremony where we were all acknowledged for our hard work."
I loved having the opportunity to attend something like this and being about to gain knowledge and experience for my future -hopefully in a science career - Biological science degree - forensics / research - - interested in University in Belfast & Edinburgh."
"On Tuesday 28th February, my fellow peers and I, travelled to Middlesex University to take part in the Mayors Award for Science. We were then put into groups with individuals from other colleges and set a challenge to evaluate a crime scene. In our groups we were then shown the murder scene, where the deceased had experienced injuries to the head and legs and were not informed about what had happened to him. Then, we were taken to a lab to evaluate blood samples and DNA. From this we learnt skills like: teamwork, thinking inquisitively, confidence, how to carry out scientific practicals and how to identify links between evidence. All the skills listed will help me in the future when looking for experience and thinking about the career pathways and potential degrees I would like to pursue as these are the things UCAS look for, as they make me stand out from the crowd. I am currently thinking about studying a degree in biological sciences at universities like Edinburgh, Belfast and Durham, and the Mayors Award of Science has helped clarify my future options."
There will be a celebration event at Southgate School on Thursday 16 of March from 6:00pm to 8:30pm.
Between 6:00pm -7:00pm there will be a Science and Technology Fair with representatives from a range of universities and employers.