Unlock Biology is an initiative working to:
- cultivate crucial problem-solving and critical-thinking skills in school-aged biology students,
- targeting secondary schools (especially those underrepresented) with the potential to motivate them to pursue biological sciences at university as well as professional careers.
- spread the word about problem solving and critical thinking in biology
How do we do it?
We represent a small but a devoted inter-disciplinary collaborative of university science students, science school educators, academics, research scientists and healthcare professionals. Our aims consist of:
- conducting a host of educational activities including 3 day-long camps run by academics and university students, in-school workshops and inter-school competitions.
- piquing your interest while empowering your curiosity by identify participants who demonstrate academic vigour, passion and enthusiasm for the biological sciences
Whom do we do it for?
The audience will be both national and inter-continental secondary school students (aged 15 to 18 years) with a deep interest in further exploring the biological sciences. We do not expect you to have memorised textbooks, but you will make the most of the experience if you demonstrate your passion, enthusiasm and curiosity to expand your educational horizons. There will be plenty of scope for lateral thinking, applying what you have learnt in school into real-world problems to find plausible solutions while also accounting for possible issues and obstacles. You will have the opportunity to find the solutions to problems that scientists do.
What value are we bringing?
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education is vital in our society all in the name of making a positive impact on the wider society by:
- leading to career opportunities,
- furthering scientific frontiers,
- encouraging entrepreneurship and commercialisation,
- tackling global challenges.
The outcomes of our initiative will not only provide a realistic, insightful and unique experiential learning to school students from all walks of life, but also support many to unlock their potential and academic prowess to pursue their passions further into university education and subsequently careers. The UK has persistently produced some of the most influential global scientific research while still dealing with educational inequality gaps due to the infrastructure of the national educational system. Most importantly, our collective will not look at creed, religion, social class, geography, or anything discriminatory that will preclude participants from joining our quest for knowledge. We will ensure that the selection of participants for the camps is fair for all students, regardless of their background. After all, you the students are the scientists, academics, and leaders of tomorrow.
What is the problem?
Biology, much like most subjects, is viewed as a fact-recall subject, thereby causing students to become disinterested. The current curriculum also does not contextualise or apply scientific principles within real-life scenarios. This makes it difficult to inspire students to apply their knowledge within a realistic framework which limits their potential to nurture their curiosity and further their passion.
Our challenges will guide you to develop a scientific skillset consisting of the following:
- Questions: Multi-part questions, centred around novel research ideas
- Skills tested: Problem-solving, simplification of abstract principles
- Understanding: Critical thinking questions
- Numeracy questions: Timed online under supervision at local schools
- Thinking & Communication Challenges: Question-posed essays to test your creativity, ingenuity and interest