In July, our Science Training for Aspiring Research Scientists (STARS) programme saw 23 young people spend a week at the Barts Cancer Institute. They learnt about how a range of techniques including DNA fingerprinting and Western Blotting are used by researchers to study how cancer cells work. Practical sessions in the lab, allowed them to try these techniques for themselves
The main objective of the program is to allow pupils, thinking of a career in science, the opportunity to have a hands on experience and to discover more about working in research; this gives them the self-confidence that they can succeed in their chosen career path. It had a positive effect on a number of those who participated, one of whom said after the week “It changed my mind as I always thought research was boring, because that's what's everyone told me” and another commented that “Gave me an insight I would've never been able to experience allowing me to consider it as a career choice”
One week was not long enough for some of the participants, one said “I wanted to do it for longer because it was so good” and several others would have like it to be two weeks.
The STARS programme works. Students that attended in 2016 have now received the ‘A’ level results and several have written back of their success. Thus far two students have got three A-grades, one starting medicine at Imperial in 2017 and another starting medicine after a gap year. Two other students are starting Biomedical Sciences, one at Surrey and one at QMUL! They have written of the value of the STARS programme in their success:
"I'm pleased to say I achieved A*ABB (A* in English Literature, A in EPQ and Bs in Biology and Chemistry) this year. I managed to secure a place on a Biomedical sciences course at Brunel. However with the grades I achieved, I worked hard on results day to call up many universities and finally secured a place at Queen Mary to study Biomedical Sciences. I am very happy that I will be on this course and be studying in the same university which hosted our STARS programme and the same place where you teach. I really think that your support and the determined mindset you taught us to adopt when pursing our dreams helped to stay motivated and persistent during the stressful time of results day."
“I got three A's in biology, chemistry and physics, and I did mention STARS when I was discussing why I think I'm a suitable candidate to study Medicine. Thank you so much”
So to all the STARS2017 students and to all the DEMONS(trators) congratulations and here is to a successful future.
- Tags: Schools