Unit hosts school pupils for a seventh year of STEM placement scheme

Unit hosts school pupils for a seventh year of STEM placement scheme

Photo of a visiting In2scienceUK school pupil working at a lab bench.

In2scienceUK student gets involved with neuroanatomy research at the MRC BNDU.

Over the summer, the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit once again hosted school pupils enrolled on an innovative work-experience placement scheme that was organised in partnership with the charity in2scienceUK.

The placement scheme was tailored for pupils from local state-funded schools to support their progress into university degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). During their time in the Unit, the pupils worked alongside Unit researchers and were given personalised mentoring to gain a wide variety of practical experiences, from molecular biology to neuroanatomy. The pupils also learned more about key concepts and challenges in neuroscience and medical research. In parallel to Unit-based activities, the pupils received guidance on university applications, wider information about STEM careers, and training in transferable skills from in2scienceUK. The pupils recorded their experiences and progress in blogs, images, and videos.

The STEM work-experience placement scheme was pioneered in Oxford by the Unit in 2016, and has been successfully rolled out across the wider University since then.

Unit researcher and in2science mentor Sasha Tinelli commented “In2science is a great way of engaging your community with your research. Sharing practical, every-day research with future generations is not only rewarding, but also helps grow interest among young aspiring scientists. I had a great time sharing our work with the in2science students and the experience made me a better science communicator in the process.”

Based on the feedback from visiting pupils and Unit researchers alike, the placements were clearly great successes. We wish all the pupils the best for their future STEM careers.