My name is Theresa Brown and I am a Programme Developer at the Natural History Museum in London. I visited Manchester Museum on 22nd April to watch the museum’s KS3 Forensic Science: A Bog Body Mystery workshop. The Manchester Museum and the Natural History Museum are partners in the Real World Science project where we share the creative process of program development for secondary schools. I was really interested to see this workshop in action as I had heard a lot of excellent things about it and wanted to see if there were elements of it that I could take back to London with me.
As expected the workshop was brilliant! Students were given a possible murder scene scenario which they had to gather information using DNA analysis and artefact identification. They were taught about what DNA is and how to correctly use the equipment necessary for the gel electrophoresis. Students used enzymes to cut the DNA and ran their samples through the electrophoresis kits. The gels were then read and conclusions made (I’m not giving away the outcome!). The workshop ran for three hours and it flew by! I also got to wear a rather natty black labcoat…
I was really inspired by the visit and I hope to incorporate some of what I learnt into our future workshops at the NHM. Watch this space!
(By the way, I’ve visited the museum before and have enjoyed the exhibits immensely but I was super thrilled to see the new Amazon tank display in the Vivarium up and running!)