Last Tuesday, students from Court Moor School visited Green Biologics in Oxfordshire as part of their Biotech Challenge.
The Biotech Challenge sees students create a hypothetical ice cream that tastes like one thing and smells like another, using fermentation, a process which students get to grips with at school and which is important in industry, for example for making medicinal drugs and chemicals/flavours found in soaps etc. After six weeks students, having researched a number of different microbial strains, will have decided what sugars and microbes they are going to use and which process they are going to use.
Students started their visit by giving staff members a presentation of what they had learnt during the challenge, what ice cream they were going to make, and how they were going to make it. They were then given a tour of Green Biologics' labs. Green Biologics make renewable chemicals that are used in the fast moving consumer goods and industrial product sector, addressing customer demands of sustainability. The tour gave students the opportunity to understand how what they had learnt was used in the real world and how industry uses the knowledge they acquire in Chemistry and Biology GCSE.
Finally, the Court Moor students were introduced to a number of Green Biologics’ employees who described their day-to-day jobs. Students had to play a card matching game where they were given different roles that people in the company play and match these to a number job descriptions. Finding out about what people do in their day-to-day lives is a great way for students to understand what working life is really like, what sorts of jobs they could do, and to think about what they might like to do.
The visit was a very enjoyable day out. After an exhausting and exhilarating few hours, they were back on the bus heading home.
The Court Moor students who undertook the Biotech Challenge with us also do a number of AQA UAS awards where they can gain certification for the soft skills they have developed along the way. They can then take these certificates to employers, or when they apply to college to show others of their achievements.
Court Moor students hearing about what Green Biologics do.
Students playing the job role matching game.