Outreach in schools
Our teaching technical team delivers a variety of sessions for schoolchildren tailored for different year groups.
Children of all ages are fascinated by wildlife, and being able to handle real skulls from some of the major predator groups (lions, bears etc) helps bring their existences to life. This session is flexible and can be pitched at a simpler level for years 5/6/7 – or made to be more in-depth for older children.
Predator vs. Prey
Explore real skulls from a variety of mammal groups and, using the knowledge gained, identify where each might sit in the food chain. Look at skull adaptations (sight, dentition, smell, hearing etc) to investigate how sense/adaptation has helped them fight for their survival.
Small mammal identification
Owl pellet dissection. Tease apart regurgitated owl pellets and, using simple keys, identify the range of small rodents that the local owl population feed upon.
Bird of Prey Display
Experience the amazing flying skills of native owl species in the lab and get to know these predatory birds with educational talks from their handlers.
Water quality of our rivers
Water quality is constantly monitored across the country using standard methods. The macro-invertebrates found in streams have been found to be very good indicators of pollution - and therefore the overall quality.
In this session students will assess samples from rivers using methods for assigning a score using an index and simple keys.
Using microscopes, invertebrates can be grouped into families - and from this diversity, the quality of the river can be assessed.
Depending upon time and student ability we can move onto the higher powered microscopes and check out the microscopic organisms that live in our rivers but are unseen by the human eye.
There may be further opportunities available to develop sessions for particular year groups depending on outreach funding and interest. In the past we have been able to offer ecology field samply and mollusc anatamy/dissection. We also run molecular whole and half-day sessions.
We are open to requests for anything we may be able to offer to support a particular topic you are covering. Please contact the Lab Manager for further details and discussion about a proposal.
For a more specialised course aimed at sixth form students please check the Access to Bristol courses offered by the University which now has a dedicated Biological Sciences stream.