Bake Off takes a biological turn at Murray Park School in Derby

FUTURE scientists at a Mickleover school put biology under the microscope with a series of activities including forensics, dissection and a Bake Off competition.

More than 150 budding biologists at Murray Park School, in Murray Road, spent a week carrying out experiments and taking part in competitions designed to foster a further interest in the science.

Staff and pupils from Murray Park School in Derby. Penguin PR: public relations, media and communications

In one session the pupils investigated how much energy different food types provide by setting fire to them and using them to heat up water.

The pupils were also invited to spend two lunchbreaks dissecting hearts and eyeballs and they were invited to bake biology-themed cakes, which were judged by head teacher Nicola Caley.

Head of science Susan Afford said: “We had more than 50 pupils who gave up their lunchbreaks to dissect eye balls and hearts. They were still able to enjoy fish and chips from the school canteen, so we know they have strong stomachs.

“The children baked some absolutely amazing cakes and we were so proud of the effort and time they put into them.

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“Based on their showstoppers we reckon it’s only a matter of time until the real Bake Off introduces a biology themed week! A few of them definitely deserved a Paul Hollywood handshake.”

Around 75 children from years nine and ten spent the day on board a converted double decker bus, which was brought to the school by the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Collaborative Outreach Programme (DANCOP).

The purpose of the visit to the school was to encourage students to engage with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and consider how those subjects might apply to the real world or lead them into higher education.

As well as forensic science, the children were given an escape room-style challenge to solve and maths problems which taught them about mortgages and interest rates.

Miss Afford said: “It was on this day that the whole department dressed up as different careers in the Biology field – we had doctors, surgeons, vets, zoologists, forensic scientists and conservationists.

“We ran a competition where pupils had to ask all the science staff who we were, what we did and what qualifications were needed for that role.

“We also ran a microscope workshop so pupils could look at different slides. The pupils really engaged with the whole programme and I’m delighted to say that they were incredibly enthusiastic about biology as a result.

“As a school we believe it is that is vitally important to encourage our young people to see the fun side of STEM subjects and activities like Biology Week awaken that desire to explore and to think outside of the box.”


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