Rats jump aboard
On the principal that you can’t really understand something until you have tried it yourself, the UAR education team has been encouraging young people up and down the country to try their hands at taking blood samples from the tail veins of a pair of laboratory rats.
Not real rats of course, but the rubber training kind that can help young people understand how much skill and patience is needed for efficient blood sampling without causing any undue distress (to the rats at least).
The rat models, kindly donated by AstraZeneca and Pfizer go by the names of Wesley and Dale and have been a huge hit with the young people who have got their hands on them. And with their teachers too. One teacher remarked:
'Overall it was a thoroughly worthwhile and valuable day that I would recommend without hesitation to teachers of KS3 children and older … the session neatly and relevantly enhanced the science unit and the questions and debate surrounding the issues continued to be discussed in science lessons in the days that followed the visit'
Or as one of her pupils put it:
'I found it really interesting and fun because he included us, showed us clips and gave us tasks. As well as this I found out a lot. It was really funny when we got the hair nets and when some people got to put protective clothing, mouth masks, goggles and gloves on and got to take blood from a fake rat’s tail.'
Teachers are reminded that you can invite us into your school, but if you just want some classroom resources, you can find everything you need in our Teachers' Zone.