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Stapleford Primary OpenPlant Project


SAW is working with OpenPlant researchers ( ) from the John Innes Centre, The Sainsbury Laboratory and Cambridge University on a range of activities to communicate their work and provide opportunities for discussion with society around applications for synthetic biology.  Our most recent project delivered by scientists Carlos Lugo and Marielle Vigouroux working with artist Chris Hann and writer Mike O'Driscoll took place with teacher Emma Wright's Year 6 class at Stapleford Primary in Cambridgeshire.  The project focused on action potentials, the seemingly unconscious beating of the heart, the firing of neurons in the brain and the rapid closing of a Venus flytrap plant.  A collection of stunning images were used and the project produced some wonderful outputs.

Some comments from the children and teacher;

"I enjoyed doing the science where I had sensors stuck to my arm, then I would tense my muscles to make the lights go red!"

"I enjoyed the images of neurons and recreating them with dye, the result was rather satisfying.  It was also fun doing the poetry".

"The SAW day was fantastic. Throughout the day the children were all engaged with the variety of activities. The children also learnt a lot from the subject specialists that showed their subjects in a new light. Equally the children and teachers a like picked up hints and tips that could be used in the classroom again. I would highly recommend this for anyone".  

Emma Wright, year 6 teacher.

A selection of poetry from the students

In a blink of an eye

Tremor and rumble,
Dreaming into screaming,
As fast as lightening it went.
Windows popping and dropping,
In a blink of an eye,
It all happened.

Book shelves falling,
Banging and clashing,
Houses falling down, down into the ground.
Running mortified,
In a blink of an eye,
It all happened.

You, your sister and a stranger,
Locked in a house,
About to collapse.
999, the fire brigade came,
In a blink of an eye,
It all happened.

By Thomas

Bang! It’s an earthquake!

Bang! Bang! Thud! Thud!
The Earth is tumbling and spinning,
The ground shatters like cookies in a jar,
Like jelly rattling dementedly underground.
Suddenly, beautiful mountains surround you,
They’re called the Himalayas.
They build up, up and up some more,
It’s a stunning sight but then you remember,
Shake! Shake! Shake!

Everything is dropping and teleporting,
Metres underground,
Lumps of rock appear and dissolve again,
In this sweltering, shaking world.
Is it a tremor?
Is it a volcano tectonic?
Is it a long period?
Just duck, nobody wants to know!

By Memphis