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Team of Edinburgh scientists visits Dornoch Academy to give support to National 5 science students: school is one of only eight across Scotland to be selected for pilot project


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Dornoch Academy science students have been helped in their course work by a team of scientists from Edinburgh.

The Sutherland school is one of only eight across Scotland to be part of a pilot project run by the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Outreach Centre (EBSOC).

Lucy Maclennan showed how temperature and catalysts affect glow stick brightness.
Lucy Maclennan showed how temperature and catalysts affect glow stick brightness.

Its National 5 Lab Skills Outreach Project 2022/23 aims to bolster students’ confidence in their science skills and encourage them to consider a career in STEM.

EBSOC, which is supported by the Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, prioritised schools in areas of rural isolation or socio-economic deprivation.

Scientists Jayne Quoiani, Chloe Stewart and Lindsay Jarvis paid a recent visit to Dornoch Academy.

The school’s chemistry teacher Adrian Allan said: “The National 5 science students took part in a practical workshop in which they separated pigments of various plant tissues using filtration and chromatography.

“They will perform their own investigations and share their results for others to view.

“As part of the Lab Science course, the pupils had to do a science investigation of their choice. They presented their projects in a poster session to the visiting scientists and demonstrated the techniques they used.

“The projects investigated a wide range of topics such as glow stick brightness, milk glue strength, heartbeat in water fleas, phosphate levels in toothpaste, reaction rates of chalk and acid, blood spatter analysis, in addition to detecting neutralisation reactions using smell.”

Dr Allan added: “The pupils worked hard on their projects, and it was great to see them have the confidence to communicate and demonstrate the science investigations they have done to other scientists.”

In May the students will visit Edinburgh to take part in a EBSOC Lab Skills DNA profiling workshop, speak to technicians, talk about their projects and tour the whole campus.

Louisa Wildman demonstrates an olfactory titration, watched by one of the visiting scientists from Edinburgh.
Louisa Wildman demonstrates an olfactory titration, watched by one of the visiting scientists from Edinburgh.
Nerri Powell explains to the visiting scientists the levels of phosphate she measured in various toothpastes.
Nerri Powell explains to the visiting scientists the levels of phosphate she measured in various toothpastes.

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