Scientific Sleuths in Edinburgh

Scientific Sleuths in Edinburgh

Solving murders with science, experimenting with evolution, hairdryers & levitation, and DNA extraction in the kitchen - all topics to be explored in The Royal Society of Edinburgh’s series of masterclasses for young people, being held for the first time at Heriot-Watt University. Supported by the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, the Startup Science series is intended to offer junior secondary pupils who have shown an enthusiasm and flare for science and technology, exposure to the inspiration of experts, and the opportunity to roll-up their sleeves and take-on practical, hands-on challenges. The series starting in Edinburgh on May 12th will be delivered by academics from Heriot-Watt University. Classes are also being run in Stirling, Aberdeen, Glasgow and St.Andrews.

The masterclasses, which are free, are aimed at enthusiastic S1 & S2 pupils who are likely to make positive responses to new ideas, and who do not give in too easily. Places are limited, and are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be a break for refreshments and on completion of the classes, pupils will be presented with a certificate.

Sir William Stewart, FRS, FRSE, President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh said:
These masterclasses are hugely important in helping to inspire our young people. We must engage and nurture their interest in science and technology. As a nation of pioneers and explorers, we can build upon Scotland’s great legacy of invention and ingenuity, and urge our young people to strive for excellence. The Royal Society of Edinburgh will continue to work with teachers and leaders in business and academia to help our young people meet, and seek solutions to the challenges of the twenty first century.

Please note that pupils cannot just turn up on the day, anyone interested, must register in advance with the RSE.

The dates and topics for the sessions to be held at Heriot-Watt are as follows:

Saturday 12 May Chemical Cluedo led by Dr John Parker. 
Solve a murder mystery with 6 suspects.  Become a forensic scientist and examine clues in the lab.

Saturday 19 May DNA Extraction Using Kitchen Chemistry led by Dr Peter Morris.
What is DNA?  Hands-on DNA extraction from fruit and vegetables.Using materials and apparatus from the supermarket and kitchen, such as water, salt, washing-up liquid, coffee-filter.

Saturday 26 May The Game of Life led by Professor Des Johnston.
See how maths can be used to understand biological evolution.
Computerized animals that change and evolve according to particular fixed rules.  Change the rules and see what happens.

Saturday 2 June Fractals, Engines and the Direction of Time led by Dr Mike Steel.  Fun with fractals and chaos: an exploration into the hidden complexities of our world. See how an engine can be driven by a cup of tea or bucket of ice; Hairdryers and levitation.

For Further Information on the masterclasses and to register, please contact: 
Dr Harinee Selvadurai, Education Officer, The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE)
Tel. +44 (0)131 240 5000

For more information on the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland’s support and activities, please contact:
Marlies Cruse (Mrs), Project / Press Officer, Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, Tel. +44 (0)131 260 0382.  

Notes on Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland

Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland received in excess of £6.7 million from Lloyds TSB Group’s pre-tax profits to support charitable activities within Scotland in 2001.

Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland funds recognised charities, which provide support in the fields of social and community needs, education and training, and scientific, medical and social research.

Every three years, the Trustees of Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland review the criteria and priorities which guide them. Priority support is considered for projects which include children, young people, ageing population, parenting, rural disadvantage, physical and mental disability, homelessness, substance misuse, minority groups and infrastructure.

The Lloyds TSB Foundations, each with its own Board of Trustees, consist of four independent charitable Foundations, (Scotland, England & Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands). They were formed in 1986 by the then TSB Group, and in 1997 changed their name following the merger of Lloyds Bank and the TSB Group. By deed of covenant, the Foundations receive one per cent of Lloyds TSB Group’s pre-tax profits, averaged over three years, in lieu of the dividend on their shareholding. Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland receives 19.46% of the fund given to the four Foundations.

In 2001, the four Lloyds TSB Foundations will distribute £34.4 million.


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