Student scientists from Lampton School showcase at National exhibition

Posted on Mar 25th 2019


++ Hounslow students are top performing in ground-breaking genetics project ++ 

++ Institute for Research in Schools helping to find the next generation of London scientists ++


On Monday, 18 March, student scientists from Lampton School in Hounslow showcased their cutting-edge research findings at the third anniversary celebration of the Institute for Research in Schools at The Francis Crick Institute in London.


Students from Lampton School presented their findings as part of a ground-breaking project to map all 15,000 genes in the human whipworm genome – which could change the lives of children across the world. This work was recognised and celebrated by the scientific community.


Lampton student scientists are responsible for a huge 20% of the work as part of this truly innovative science project, making them the top performing school out of 52 taking part across the country.


This is all made possible by the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS), which has given these passionate student scientists in Hounslow access to real world and potentially life changing science projects. These students could be the next generation of scientists to change the world as we know it.


IRIS student scientists – right through from primary up to post-grads - form part of a research community, together with their teachers and scientific researchers. Young people working with IRIS can annotate a human whipworm, analyse data from the International Space Station, and tackle fundamental challenges of climate change.


We have a national shortage of scientists and engineers, with Engineering UK estimating that by 2024 we will need to train 186,000 engineers annually to keep up with industry demand. The current Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) curriculum is not enticing enough to fill that huge gap.


IRIS aims to plug this gap by inspiring the next generation of scientists. Giving these Hounslow students first-hand experience of cutting-edge research has a positive impact on the numbers of those who choose to continue studying STEM subjects after they turn 18 – and there’s an actual possibility of them making a scientific discovery before they even go to university.


Professor Becky Parker MBE, Director of the Institute for Research in Schools, said:

“Huge congratulations to our student scientists at Lampton School. It was wonderful to celebrate Lampton’s important contribution to Genomics at our third anniversary.


“We know from working with almost 250 schools that students need first-hand experience of scientific research for it to ‘stick’. Now is the time to nurture these young scientists in Hounslow if we want to bridge the gap between supply and demand in the industry.


“STEM education should give students the opportunity to work on genuine problems facing our communities – whether that is helping fight debilitating diseases in third-world countries or getting to grips with the factors that affect people’s well-being.  Coming face to face with real science is the way to make children fall in love with science - so much so that they continue their studies at A level, onto university and then out into the world as passionate scientists.”


Stephen Davis, headteacher at Lampton School, said:


“We are very proud of the work on Genomics our students have undertaken as part of this project. It has been a fantastic opportunity and has inspired our student scientists with this real world experience.”


Manraj Bhogal, Year 12 student at Lampton School, said:

This was a great opportunity to work with scientists collaboratively to interpret genomics data. By decoding the genome of the whole whipworm, we are helping combat one of the world’s most neglected tropical diseases which enables us to understand the outstanding possibilities it can bring to our world of biological research. I feel privileged to be a part of such a wonderful project which also links well with our A-level Biology course.”


Notes to editors:


The Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS) provides students and their teachers with the opportunities to participate in authentic STEM research and to make valuable, recognised contributions to the scientific community.

More information about IRIS projects, some of which will be showcased at the anniversary event, can be found here.


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