Start date

6th June 2017


9.30 am to 3.30 pm


Rothamsted Research, Harpenden AL5 2JQ


Centre for STEM Education, University of Hertfordshire, in association with Rothamsted Research.

Event type

Training & Education


£210* + VAT (*RCUK bursary available for state funded schools and colleges)

The understanding of genetics will have a central role to play in the lives of future generations, making it vital that we nurture and develop this area in our future scientists who will add to the knowledge pool in this field of science.

You will work in state-of-the-art facilities and experience hands on activities and opportunities for discussions with research scientists at Rothamsted Research.

You will be able to:

  • identify new contexts and ideas for effective delivery of How Science Works
  • explore scientific issues and controversies
  • engage with inspiring teaching resources and approaches including practical work
  • work alongside scientists involved in cutting edge research to develop knowledge and skills in authentic contexts

9.00 amArrival and Tea/Coffee
9.30 amIntroduction and Welcome, Janet Cardell, Centre for STEM Education and Rothamsted Communication and Public Engagement team
9.40 amDr Mark Wilkinson: ‘Wheat - Two Sides to Every Crop!’
10.30 am Refreshments
10.45 pm Workshop A – Dr Mark Wilkinson. This talk will not only cover the huge impact of wheat on our everyday living and a source of dietary fibre, but also its importance for the biofuel market.  
12.00 pm Workshop B – Dr Caroline Sparks
13.15 pmLunch
14.00 pmTeaching resources and links to GCE and GCSE specifications – Janet Cardell, Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School
14.15 pmPlenary and Evaluations – sharing of teaching ideas
14.30 pmTour of Rothamsted – to end approx 15.30

You will have the opportunity to engage in three main activities during the day:

Workshop A 

  • Dr Mark Wilkinson: Laboratory Demonstrations and hands-on practical work to cover genomic DNA extraction, PCR setting up and gel running with prior examples for each stage.

Workshop B

  • Dr Caroline Sparks will cover the basis of wheat transformation: isolating the tissues which are used, carrying out the process of introducing the DNA, demonstrating how a plant is then regenerated. If time and weather permit, there will be a tour of the glasshouses, where GM plants are grown.

Rothamsted ResearchTour

  • Rothamsted Communication and Public Engagement team: Centenary Building (where most of the molecular biology is carried out), the Bioimaging Unit and the sample archive (a unique resource with more than 300,000 samples from our long term field experiments some of which have been running continuously since the 19th Century).