Key Stage 4

Solar Physics Workshop

This workshop uses specialised equipment and can enhance the GCSE Physics Curriculum by introducing solar physics in a way that is stimulating and engaging.
During the visit pupils will:
-study the solar spectrum and Fraunhofer lines to look at red and blue shift
-detect UV radiation
-construct a simple spectroscope
-use a sun spotter and solar telescope (weather permitting) to detect sunspot activity and prominences
This workshop was developed in 2008 following a grant from STFC.
In response to teacher feedback, the subject matter is offered in 'bite sized chunks' to give pupils free time to explore The Centre's hands-on exhibits in-between the structured activities.
The full timetable lasts 3 - 3  1/2 hours, but options can be discussed at the time of booking.

£180 for groups up to 30 pupils.
Supervising adults FREE. 
Telephone: 01323 832731

Hands-on DNA: Exploring Evolution workshop

The Observatory Science Centre has been selected to be a key national partner in a new UK-wide Hands-on DNA: Exploring Evolution project.

‘A workshop that bridges evolutionary research and molecular biology techniques'

Hands-on DNA is a collaboration between the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC) and three partner centres, At-Bristol. Nowgen in Manchester and the Centre for Life in Newcastle and is supported by the Wellcome Trust. 

The workshop entitled Bacterial Evolution is relevant for KS3 & KS4 students and covers topics including DNA, evolution, enzymes, infection and immunity. Students will use state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques and equipment including:
  • Gel electrophoresis.
  • Restriction digests to manipulate and identify different strains of bacterial DNA.
  • Micropipettes
  • Gel loading techniques
  • Interpretation of DNA fragment patterns using transillumination 
Considerations are given to the evolutionary pressures that act on bacteria. In particular, it looks at how Streptococcus pyogenes has evolved variants in one of its genes in response to pressure from the human immune system.

The workshop is run by highly qualified staff that are experienced in the use of molecular biology techniques and are skilled science communicators. 

Duration: 2.5 hours.

The successful trial of five workshops has now been completed and the project is being evaluated.

Please contact The Centre for further information about this workshop.