Year 10 Science Camp: Arthur’s Experience

This week saw applications open for the Year 10 Science Camp 2024.

Every year in July, the John Innes Centre hosts the annual Year 10 Science Camp: a week-long, non-residential experience where pupils get the chance to take part to experience working here at the John Innes Centre, The Sainsbury Laboratory or the Earlham Institute.

During the week, the students have an immersive work experience, taking part in practicals, shadow scientists and technicians, and visit various institutes on Norwich Research Park.

Here, we spoke to Arthur, one of the students who attended:

“I took part in the Science Camp at the John Innes Centre in July 2023 and it was a great and very interesting experience.

“On the first day, we learned how to use some of the lab equipment by extracting chlorophyll from leaves and culturing bacteria. Later in the week, I did a cool experiment where we tried to find the protein which aphids use to inhibit a plant’s immune system and prevent it from releasing toxins. This kind of research could help prevent crop failures caused by aphids in the future.

“I also had the opportunity to fly drones which were used to measure the height of crops in a field. The drones had an insane power consumption rate, meaning we were required to take a massive amount of lithium batteries just for this one trip.

“On the final day of the camp, we made posters summarising the work we did. Some of our parents came and spent the afternoon with us whilst we talked about our posters. All of the staff were very friendly and patient. And even the food from the cafeteria was excellent!

“Overall, it was an incredibly valuable experience and a rare opportunity to try some practical lab work. I believe this will be very useful for when I apply for sixth form and university.”

As well as exploring some of the ground-breaking plant and microbial research taking place here, learning about all the ways in which the science of today is the reality of tomorrow, Year 10 Science Camp attendees also had the opportunity to complete a Youth STEMM Award via a fully funded place on the programme.

This skills award is designed to support and inspire the next generation into STEMM, with time spent at the Science Camp helping participants get approximately half-way towards achieving a Bronze level Award.

Previous student, Saumya, who have taken part in the Youth Stem Award and the Y10 Science Camp in 2022 wrote a blog about here experience here on the Norwich Research Park which was published on their website.

Saumya said: “The science camp gave me lots of insight and experience in several ways! Over the week, we explored different parts of biology, including brassica beetles, working in both lab and field.”

Find out more about the Year 10 Science Camp and apply for 2024 here.