Science Week

Day 1 – Microbiology Workshop. In this session students explored the groundbreaking advances made by Florence Nightingale in the field of medical hygiene. Students swabbed a petri dish with samples from sterilized equipment, washed equipment and unwashed equipment which had been used to cut a sample of raw meat. On Friday students returned to discover their results. Most were not surprised that the unwashed materials had grown a lot of bacteria, but were very surprised to see that even the washed material still held a lot of bacteria! Only the sterilized equipment was completely clean.

Day 2 – DNA Workshop. Today students had fun building their own model of the famous DNA double helix discovered by scientists Watson, Crick, Franklin and Wilkins. They also learned about how the 3 male scientists received the Nobel Prize but unfortunately Rosalind Franklin didn’t, as she had passed away, despite having worked so hard to have her work accepted as a female scientist.

Day 3 – Disease Transfer Workshop. Students used a powder only observable under UV light to discuss how pathogens are transferred between people. They were amazed to see just how much powder was passed from person to person just by shaking hands! They were also surprised to see just how difficult it was to remove all of the powder when washing their hands!

Day 4 – Surgery Workshop. On the final day students observed a model surgery from the 1800’s and compared this with a model Modern Day surgery. Mr. Adam’s dodgy leg was amputated without anesthetic and without any concern for hygiene – equipment and clothes were unwashed and the surgeon was wearing no protective equipment! By comparison the modern surgeons had hair nets, face masks, and the patient was wearing equipment to prevent any further infection. Students were very impressed by the performance and had many interesting questions to ask about the conditions exhibited during each surgery.

Mr. P. Hayes