News

DNA Workshops in aid of Cork Penny Dinners.

11 Nov 2015
Cover design: Mary Heapes, School of Biochemistry & Cell Biology.

UCC Biochemistry and Biotechnology students demonstrate for charity at DNA workshops for Christ King Girls’ Secondary School, Bandon Grammar School and Presentation Brothers College.

The UCC Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society - as their charity event this year - ran two DNA workshops during Cork Science Festival week, in aid of Cork Penny Dinners and raised €1820 to date. The schools that attended were Christ King Girls’ Secondary School on10 November and Bandon Grammar School on the next day, 11 November.

Both schools were invited by two of our 4th year students, Beth Butler and Stephanie Earl. Beth is a past pupil of Christ King Girls’ Secondary School and Stephanie is a past pupil of Bandon Grammar School. This initiative was very successful and a real team effort.

 

Beth Butler (4th Year Biochemistry) talking to students from Christ King Girls’ Secondary School  about the DNA extraction experiment at the DNA workshop Beth Butler (4th Year Biochemistry) talking to students from Christ King Girls’ Secondary School about the DNA extraction experiment at the DNA workshopPhoto credit: Mary Heapes, School of Biochemistry & Cell Biology.

 

Stephanie Earl, current 4th year Biochemistry student and past pupil of Bandon Grammar School demonstrating to her brother, Rhys, at the DNA workshop. Rhys is currently attending Bandon Grammar School, Cork. Stephanie Earl, current 4th year Biochemistry student and past pupil of Bandon Grammar School demonstrating to her brother, Rhys who is currently attending Bandon Grammar SchoolPhoto credit: Mary Heapes, School of Biochemistry & Cell Biology.

 

Students from the 4th year Biochemistry class (Beth Butler, Amy Curtin, Niamh Devanny, Stephanie Earl, Mary Frost, Tara Green, Cathy Griffin, Amy Heffernan, Christina Killian, Neil McKimm, Tom Morehead, Paul Mulchrone and Danny O’ Regan) and MSc Biotechnology class (John Creedon, Marie Forde, Evan Gilman-Burke and Aine Stanton) demonstrated and did a marvellous job. Trish Fowler and Pat Allen set up the lab for each student and prepared the DNA Workshop manuals. Mary Heapes took pictures on both days. Dr Sinéad Kerins delivered the introductory lectures, which covered the theory of the experiments performed during the workshop to the students before they commenced the laboratory work.

Ninety one students attended and completed the workshops and feedback from the students was really excellent.

 

Feedback comments from secondary school students on the DNA workshop held at the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, UCC

More feedback comments from secondary school students on the DNA workshop held at the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, UCC
Feedback comments from secondary school students on the DNA workshop held at the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, UCC.

 

The teachers were also very complimentary of the workshops and said “We can’t believe the standard of your workshop and the work put into it by everybody and the effort you went to - it was a great day!”.

 

Fourth Year BSc in Biochemistry student, Marie Forde, preparing notes on whiteboard for the DNA workshop
 Fourth Year BSc in Biochemistry student, Marie Forde, preparing notes on whiteboard for the DNA workshop. Photo credit: Mary Heapes, School of Biochemistry & Cell Biology. 

On 26th November, a further DNA workshop was run for transition year students from Presentation Brothers College.

Lucy O’Farrell, one of the teacher’s from Christ King Girls’ Secondary School, is one of our past BSc Biochemistry graduates “Through the medium of science, the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology is not only strengthening community links with Christ King Girls’ Secondary School, but also providing students with an insight into the world of science outside a classroom setting. The DNA workshop allows students to explore their understanding of the relevance of science in everyday life and provides an invaluable opportunity for all students to develop their experimental skills. Dr Kerins, the laboratory technicians and demonstrators provide a unique experience, whereby students get a hands-on opportunity to experience the reality of studying science at Third level”.

 

Tom Morehead (4th Year Biochemistry) and students from Christ King Girls’ Secondary School pictured swabbing their cheek cells for DNA extraction experiment Tom Morehead (4th Year Biochemistry) and students from Christ King Girls’ Secondary School pictured swabbing their cheek cells for DNA extraction experimentPhoto credit: Mary Heapes, School of Biochemistry & Cell Biology.

 

All the money raised will go to Cork Penny Dinners. On a particular day, the meals will be named after the Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society. Some of the members of the Society committee and the demonstrators hope to attend and help out as required.

Dr Sinéad Kerins would like to thank the UCC Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society and students of the School for participating in Cork Science Festival week and for demonstrating to the post-primary students during the DNA workshops. Áine, Amy C, Amy H, Beth, Cathy, Christina, Danny, Evan, John, Marie, Mary, Neil, Niamh, Paul, Stephanie, Tara and Tom done an exceptional job and in addition to guiding the students through the experiments, they promoted the Biochemistry, Biomedical Science and Genetics degree programmes. Also thank you to Trish and Pat for all the pre-workshop preparatory work, which allowed the workshops to run efficiently and effectively, and to Mary for the excellent photography.

Well done and a big thank you to all the team involved.

 

Christina Killian, 4th Year Biochemistry (centre) demonstrating to secondary school students from Bandon Grammar School, Cork Christina Killian, 4th Year Biochemistry (centre) demonstrating to secondary school students from Bandon Grammar School, CorkPhoto credit: Mary Heapes, School of Biochemistry & Cell Biology.

School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Scoil na Bithcheimice agus na Cillbhitheolaíochta

University College Cork, Western Road, Cork.

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