Teachers and schools

Epilepsy: the neuronal concept
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Using epileptic flies for systematic drug screens Example epilepsy: the neuronal concept (top), experiencing epileptic flies (middle), and using epileptic flies for systematic drug screens (bottom).

Teachers and Schools

Quick access: Movie | Visits | Placements | CPD | Provisions | Reports | Work experience

Overview

Did you know that Drosophila can do far more in biology lessons than classical genetics like Mendel’s peas and can be used as a modern teaching tool for many curriculum-relevant specifications? This is explained in greater detail together with our existing resources in our various publications and blog posts (see box below).

In a nutshell, from the beginning of modern biology fruit flies have been at the forefront of biology research for a number of reasons, as is explained on two dedicated pages: “Why the fly?” and “Why fly?“. Consequently, concepts of fundamental biology are usually extremely well established in flies and tend to be evolutionary well conserved. Therefore, Drosophila provides excellent means to kick-start your lessons on many major biology specification of the curriculum, spiced up with micro-experiments or demonstrations. We work on examples in the areas of genetics, evolution, protein synthesis, gene technology, enzymes and enzymatic pathways, disease, the brain (synapses, action potentials), physiology (e.g. of the eye), life cycle or even dietary (see a brief overview and list of resources). To see how this works in practice, please read our publications and blogs (see box below).

We can help you make biology lessons fly in the classroom:

  • We can visit you and present at your school (see our list of school visits below).
  • We can provide you with flies and fly food for crosses and demonstrations; see details about what we provide and respective prices here and check out schools that we have sent flies & resources to [LINK].
  • We can supply you with teaching materials, including simple experiments that fascinate pupils at all ages. A number of school lessons, using Drosophila as a modern teaching tool to convey curriculum relevant biology specification, can be downloaded for free together with teacher notes, instructions, risk assessments and activities – and supported by dedicated webpages that can be used for teacher preparation, homework tasks or revisions.

If you have topics in mind for which you would like to have curriculum-relevant fly-related teaching resources, please, get in contact.

Publications about droso4schools

  • Harbottle, J., Strangward, P., Alnuamaani, C., Lawes, S., Patel, S., Prokop, A. (2016). Making research fly in schools: Drosophila as a powerful modern tool for teaching Biology. School Science Review 97, 19-23 — [LINK]
  • Patel, S., DeMaine, S., Heafield, J., Bianchi, L., Prokop, A. (2017). The droso4schools project: long-term scientist-teacher collaborations to promote science communication and education in schools. Sem Cell Dev Biol 70, 73-84 — [LINK]
  • Patel, S., Prokop, A. (2019). Why fruit flies belong in primary and secondary schools. Blog post in “Genes to Genomes” — [LINK]
  • Prokop, A. (2015) Bringing life into biology lessons: using the fruit fly Drosophila as a powerful modern teaching tool – Guest blog for “Pedagoo.org”  (20 Aug; no longer available); mirrored and regularly updated on “Gedankenexperimente” — [LINK]
  • Prokop, A. (2018). A novel engaging approach to teaching life cycle and evolution in KS2 classrooms (primary schools). Blog post in “Gedankenexperimente” — [LINK]
  • Prokop, A. (2018). How to communicate basic research in schools – a case study using Drosophila. Blog post in “PLOS | BLOGS” (ed. J. Organ) — [LINK]

See our “droso4schools” movie

Our school events & activities

School visits

See our interactive map of schools we visited or collaborate with.

Image drawn by a St. Christopher pupil after our fly event

Image drawn by a St. Christopher pupil after our fly eventDiscover Life Sciences Event, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester – 1 Dec 2015Discover Life Sciences Event, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester – 1 Dec 201

  • Animal Research Day, FBMH, Manchester University – 12 Dec 2018
  • Scarisbrick Hall School, 14 Nov 2018
  • St John’s RC Primary School, 17 Oct  2018
  • Discover Life Sciences Event, FBMH, University of Manchester – 17/18 July 2018
  • Manchester University/ Lancashire Schools collaboration, Scarisbrick Hall School -4 July 2018 [Evaluation]
  • Y10 Work Experience Programme – 28 June 2018
  • Manchester Grammar – 27 June 2018
  • Brookburn Primary, Manchester – 06 June 2018
  • Animal Research Day, FBMH, Manchester University – 29 March 2018
  • British Science Week, University of Manchester -13 to 16 March 2018
  • Animal Research Day, FBMH, Manchester University – 7 Dec 2017
  • Discover Life Sciences, FBMH, University of Manchester – 28/29 Jun 17
  • Loreto sixth form college – 19 May 2017
  • Manchester Grammar – 16 May 2017
  • Trinity School, Manchester – 8 May 2017
  • Animal Research Day, FBMH, Manchester University – 29 March 2017
  • Loreto sixth form college – 27 March 2017
  • Withington Primary School – 23 March 2017
  • Manchester Grammar – 21 March 2017
  • Loreto sixth form college, Manchester – 13 March 2017
  • British Science Week, University of Manchester -14 to 17 March 2017
  • Loreto sixth form college, Manchester – 19 Jan 2017
  • Trinity School, Manchester – 16 Dec 2016
  • Audiolab Project, Manchester- 1 Nov 2016
  • Altrincham Grammar School – 11 Oct 2016
  • Loreto Sixth Form College – 6 Oct 2016
  • 9 month collaboration with Trinity CoE High School and Loreto Sixth Form College within the droso4schools project – Aug 2016 to June 2017
  • Y12 Mini Summer School, Faculty of Life Sciences – 25 July 2016
  • Y10 Work Experience Programme – 18 July 2016
  • Discover Life Sciences Event, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester – 12 July 2016
  • Ryburn Valley High, Fly Facility, 15 April 2016
  • St John’s RC Primary School, 05 April 2016
  • Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy, Fly Facility – 22 March 2016
  • British Science Week, University of Manchester -11 to 20 March 2016
  • Acacias Community Primary School – 27 Jan 2015
  • Discover Life Sciences Event, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester – 1 Dec 2015
  • Kings’ School, Chester, Genetics Roadshow – 19 Nov 2015
  • St Peter’s High School, Manchester – 19 Nov 2015
  • Aquinas College, Stockport- 02 Nov 2015
  • Cardinal Newman College, Lancashire, Collaboration – Nov 2015
  • Nelson & Colne College, Nelson – 06 Oct 2015
  • Year 12 Mini Summer School, Faculty of Life Sciences – 03 Aug 2015
  • Year 10 Work Experience Programme, Faculty of Life Sciences, Manchester University – 13 July 2015
  • Brookburn Primary School, Manchester – 6 June 2015
  • Animal Research Day, Faculty of Life Sciences, Manchester University – 25 March 2015
  • Ashton Sixth Form College, Manchester- 11 March 2015
  • Trinity School, Manchester – 10 March 2015
  • Xavarian Sixth Form College, Manchester- 4 March 2015
  • Cambridge HE+ program, Loreto College, Manchester- 25 Feb 2015
  • St Peter’s High School, Manchester – 11 Feb 2015
  • Manchester Grammar School –  02 Feb 2015
  • St Christopher’s CE High School, Lancashire –  28 Jan 2015
  • Trinity School, Manchester, Careers Day – Nov 2014
  • Cardinal Newman College, Lancashire, Collaboration – 25 Sept 2014
  • 3 month collaboration with Trinity CoE High School and Loreto Sixth Form College within the droso4schools project – Sept-Dec 2014
  • Cheadle Hulme High School, Cheadle – 11 July 2014
  • Bolton Muslim Girls’ School – 27 June 2014
Image drawn by another St. Christopher's student

Image drawn by another St. Christopher’s student

  • Connell Sixth Form College, Manchester Fly Facility – 23 June 2014
  • Manchester Communication Academy, Manchester – 20 June 2014
  • Animal Research Day, Faculty of Life Sciences, Manchester University – 2 April 2014
  • Bolton School Girls Division, Bolton – 13 Feb 2014
  • St Christopher’s CE High School, Lancashire – 28 Nov 2013
  • St Mary’s CE Primary School, Reddish – 18 Oct 2013
  • Animal Research Day, Faculty of Life Sciences, Manchester University – 17 Oct 2013
  • Bolton School Girls Division, Bolton – 9 Oct 2013
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Warrington – 13 June 2013
  • Bramhall High School, Stockport – 16 Nov 2012
  • The King’s School, Chester – 15 Nov 2012·

Students placed as teaching assistants (droso4schools project)

  • Charlotte Blackburn, University of Edinburgh – November 2017
  • Sophie Demaine, University of Manchester – August 2016- June 2017
  • Joshua Heafield, University of Manchester – August 2016- June 2017
  • Jennifer Harbottle, University of Aberdeen – January-March 2015
  • Patrick Stangward, University of Manchester – January-March 2015

(please, contact us if you are interested in such a placement)

CPD events

  • CPD teacher training event, Fly Facility, Manchester University – 25 Jan 2018
  • School-University Partnership, Networking Event, Manchester University – 23 Nov 2017
  • STEM Learning RCUK cutting edge programme – 13 July 2017
  • Royal Society Science event – 15 March 2017
  • MANCEP Teacher’s conference at Manchester Metropolitan University – 17 Feb 2017
  • Teacher’s Summer School, Faculty of Life Sciences, Manchester University – 11 July 2016
  • ASE Annual Conference, Birmingham – 8 Jan 2016
  • School-University Partnership, Networking Event, Manchester University – 21 Oct 2014
  • Teacher’s Summer School, Faculty of Life Sciences, Manchester University – 27 July 2015
  • Bringing Cutting Edge Science – CPD teacher event, Fly Facility, Manchester University – 23 March 2015
  • MANCEP Teacher’s conference at Manchester Metropolitan University – 13 Feb 2015
  • School-University Partnership, Networking Event, Manchester University – 15th Oct 2014
  • Teacher’s Summer School, Faculty of Life Sciences, Manchester University – 30 July 2014
  • Maths and Sciences Teachers Conference, Manchester University – 25 June 2014
  • Teachers’ Visit, Faculty of Life Science, Manchester University – 4 Feb 2014
  • School-University Partnership, Networking Event, Manchester University – 20th Nov2013

Schools that we provided materials to

  • Loughbrough Grammar School, Loughbrough (June 12, Oct 12,
  • Hulme Grammar school, Oldham (Oct 12)
  • Merchant Taylors School, Liverpool (Sept 13, Oct 14, Nov 14, Dec 14, Jan 15, Oct 15, Jan 17)
  • Bolton Girls School, Bolton (Oct 13, Feb 14, June 14)
  • Birkenhead High School, Birkenhead (Jan 14, Feb 14, May 14, Aug 14, Dec 14, Jan 16, April 17)
  • Bolton Muslim Girls School, Bolton (June 14)
  • Loreto Sixth form College, Manchester (July 14)
  • Burney College, Burnley (Sept 14, June 18)
  • The Kings’ School, Chester (Sept 14)
  • Trinity High School, Mnachester (Nov 14)
  • Urmston Grammar (Nov 14)
  • St Mary’s School, Trafford (Jan 15)
  • Bolton School, Lancashire (Feb 15)
  • Cardinal Newman College, Preston (Sept 14, Nov 14, Dec 14, Feb 15, March 15, Nov 15, Dec 15, Feb 16, March 16, Nov 16, Feb 17, March 17, Nov 17, Feb 18, March 18)
  • Ryburn Valley High School (April 15)
  • Denbigh High School, Denbigh (May 15, Dec 15, Jan 16)
  • Ashton sixth form college, Ashton (May 15)
  • Sidcot School, Sommerset (July 16, July 17)
  • Rossall School, Lancashire (Jan 16)
  • NUAST, Nottingham (Oct 17)
  • Nelson and Colne College, Nelson (March 16, March 17)
  • St Johnfisher Catholic School, Medway (Nov 16)
  • Xavarian College, Manchester (Jan 17, Oct 17)
  • Wiltshire College, Lackham (Jan, Feb 17)
  • Escola Secundária de Ponte de Lima,Portugal (Feb 17, April 17)

Student essays about our school events

Student work experience at the Fly Facility

  • Since July 2011, 32 work experience students from Manchester schools have been placed at the Fly Facility. Please, contact us if you are interested.

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