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PHRMY Honey Bees & Teacher Training Day

14 July 2014

Professor Les Baillie from The Cardiff school of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has been working for some time on honey bees with the National Botanic Garden of Wales to identify plant derived drugs which could be used to treat antibiotic resistant hospital pathogens. This project draws from a range of scientific disciplines such as microbiology, chemistry, DNA sequencing, data presentation and ecology and as such represents a story which could be used to engage school students in STEM related subjects.  See also  'The Honey Bee as a Drug Discovery Tool'.

To determine the area's of our research were of particular relevance to school students we enlisted the help of science teachers from a number of local schools who are currently engaged in delivering  the science based elements of  the national curriculum.

The teachers started on the roof with a visit to our newly installed bee hives which was supported with a presentation by the schools own bee keepers. They where then given tours of individual laboratories were then shown the various techniques used to analyse honey and to identify pharmaceutically useful compounds.  In each case the presentations were given by PhD students who had the opportunity to present aspects of there own research.

Finally the teachers were asked to provide feedback as to how the event could be adapted to form the basic of worthwhile school visit.

Our hope is that we will be able to develop an event which will energise the next generation of scientists.

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