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7,000 and counting...

27 July 2010

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Category: Schools education

child–student–pupil.jpgAre you a school science teacher or a GCSE science student? Don't miss out next year - invite a volunteer speaker into your school. We have keen volunteers across the UK (especially in Newcastle and Glasgow).

Over the past school year Understanding Animal Research volunteers have given over 250 talks in schools nationwide. This has involved more than 7,000 students, whom we hope can now differentiate between the myths and facts of animal research.

Our volunteers are not only contributing to science lessons in schools but are also giving students an opportunity to talk about future careers. The feedback from teachers is consistently positive, saying that their pupils were engaged and continue to talk about the issue even after the volunteer had left.

There is nothing better than meeting someone face-to-face who talks openly, honestly and proudly about the job they do and why they do it, which is why teachers are already booking their speakers again for next year.

One thing speakers tell me is that what they dreaded the most - answering questions - is always the most rewarding part of the visit. Our number of volunteers has swelled over the summer term as we continue to train more people and accompany them on their first few visits. Our training sessions give volunteers the confidence to talk about their jobs not only in a school setting but in the wider world as well.

Over the summer we are working at the National Science Learning Centre in York with a group of teachers, to produce comprehensive resources to help them integrate and teach animal research in their lessons more easily and effectively. These teachers will then trial the resources over the Autumn term with a more widespread distribution set for the beginning of 2011.

We hope that by supporting and helping teachers with this complex subject we can ensure that it will become a normal part of every pupil's science education.