Innovation through project based learning at the UTC

Earlier this term, students at the UTC started their long term innovation project into genome research. This project runs throughout the year in the background to their studies and alongside the second, shorter-term innovation project. Each pupil received a genome of an organism, and they are analysing amongst other things its enzymes, function and structure. Within their research, they are carrying out database mining (a sub-field of computer science) and BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool). This enables them to compare the primary biological sequence information of the genome such as its nucleotides, which are organic molecules that serve as the building blocks of DNA. Dr Moore, Head of Science at the UTC tells us that these two types of research aren’t commonly used until degree or even PhD level, but the excellent resources we have here at Life Science UTC mean that pupils can utilise this advanced equipment. The UTC are working to change the level of secondary science locally, this is just one of the ways we are working to ensure our students are a step ahead.