Biology and Chemistry IB students along with their teachers had an amazing experience at Kew Gardens in West Sussex, where they had hands-on experience with DNA profiling in a lab. They also visited the Millennium Seed Bank.
‘Spectacular, amazing, the best experience!’
Each student had the opportunity to:
- use DNA profiling in the operation of CITES regulations for conservation
- use sterile forensic techniques
- treat samples of DNA, amplified by PCR with restriction enzymes
- use gel electrophoresis to separate the DNA fragments
- compare the results of the different samples
- discover the aims and workings of the CITES treaty
Following this, they had lunch at the café, where the food included fresh vegetables that were grown at Kew Gardens and a short visit with the ducks and pheasants!
‘It was enthralling knowing which countries were a part of this project! It was interesting to apply our knowledge outside the classroom and getting to see scientists at work from all over the world.’ DP student
The Millennium Seed Bank was spectacular, where all the seeds from around the world are stored to provide an insurance policy against the extinction of plants in the wild.
The students were able to see scientists in action and how scientists collect seeds and preserve them ex situ (away from their natural habitat) offering an economical and effective way to save seeds and keep them for posterity. They were also keen to learn how they can be germinated and reintroduced to the wild or used in scientific research in the future.
IB DP Biology & Chemistry students and Science Department, King Fahad Academy