DNA worn as necklaces

02 July 2007

Around 150 A-level chemistry students have attended activity days at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Leicester over the last two weeks.

The activities included an experiment where students extracted and isolated samples of their own DNA, encapsulating it in a glass vial which could be worn as a necklace.

Dr Corey Evans delighted students with his 'visual revision' lecture which included experiments with liquid nitrogen, reacting sugar with concentrated sulphuric acid and electrochemical writing.

Students got to practice and demonstrate their presentation skills with a pharmaceutical business game. Many students came up with innovative ways to sell their 'new found' medicine, with some even bursting into song.

The day concluded with an interactive quiz, where speed and knowledge were essential. 

One of the students who attended from Gateway College said: "The activities were amazing, along with the presentations". 

More the 76% of the students who attended reported that they were now more likely to consider doing a degree in the chemical sciences. Did the students suggest any way to improve the day? Yes, they wanted more explosions!

The event was organised by Chemistry: The Next Generation, part of Chemistry for Our Future, an initiative which aims to ensure a strong and sustainable higher education chemical science base in the UK. Liz Blackshaw, regional coordinator said: "We are really grateful to the staff of the Chemistry department for putting so much effort into encouraging and inspiring the students."

Lucy Arnold, of CULN (Colleges - University of Leicester Network) who supported one of the days said: "It was fantastic, you could see the students really got a lot out of the day and thoroughly enjoyed themselves". 

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