Crick News


October 2013

School science theatre


Plans are now well underway for a 'Crick Satellite Lab' around the corner from the Francis Crick Institute at Regent High School. Running alongside the dedicated teaching laboratory for primary school children within the Crick building, the satellite lab will provide secondary schools pupils with an exciting hands-on experience of the institute.

Regent High School is currently constructing a brand-new, state-of-the-art building. Set for completion later this year, it will house an 'interactive science theatre' that at times will be a theatre suitable for lectures and talks, at others a fully equipped science lab.

We are working in close partnership with the school to develop this space; providing equipment and expertise, and widening audiences by making it available to students from across Camden and surrounding boroughs. Opening ahead of 2015, it will be a key place to pilot ideas and build our ambitious education programme.

To ensure that activities run in the satellite lab are contemporary and relevant to the Crick, as well as the National Curriculum and wider world, we have brought together a number of scientists and teachers to develop a suite of activities and resources. Involved in the project are ten teachers from schools across Camden, Hackney, Haringey, Brent and Barnet, and five scientists, including two from the London Research Institute (LRI) and three from the National Institute Medical Research (NIMR).

To date the group have met three times and will convene a further six times over the next twelve months. "By coming together, we're able to mix the scientific knowledge and passion of the scientists with the enthusiasm and experience of the teachers" explains Emily Burns, one of our LRI scientists. "I am very much looking forward to seeing our ideas become reality over the next year, with an end product that will hopefully show our young generation how important, relevant and interesting scientific research can be."

The scientists and teachers are working closely with the British Science Association (BSA) to ensure the activities are developed in-line with CREST award criteria (for more information see here), and we hope at least some of the five activities developed will be fully CREST accredited.  The final outputs from the project will be uploaded to our website and made available to schools across the country.

If this model is successful, we will look to run a similar project with a cohort of primary schools next summer, and apply it to our education programme going forwards. We envisage that as scientific research evolves and develops within our building, so too will our offer both locally and nationally.