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Secondary projects

The case studies below are a selection of secondary projects that have been funded through the Partnership Grants scheme. If you have any questions about the projects below please get in touch.

 

What is the parasite burden on Kelso High School and Annan Academy bee colonies?
Computer science - virtually engaging?
Can Drosophila melanogaster learn visual and olfactory cues?
Can a school contribute effectively to open source pharma via the synthesis of novel drug analogues?

What is the parasite burden on Kelso High School and Annan Academy bee colonies?

Computer science - virtually engaging?

“We are Year 12 computer science students and our project is to look at ways of engaging more students in the subject of computer science. We have created a virtual reality (VR) app, which allows students to enter a virtual computer and interact with the components inside. The aims of our project were to design and build an app for use with the Oculus Rift Headset that will show students how changing components in a computer can affect the way it works, to test the effectiveness of VR as a teaching tool in the classroom and to analyse students’ engagement with computer science before and after experiencing the VR app. We built the app using Unity and C#, with graphics created in Blender software. We used surveys to collect data from the test students. Our results showed that 100% of students found the virtual computer environment a more engaging method of learning.”

Find out more about this project by reading the scientific poster they produced for the Royal Society student conference (PDF).

Can Drosophila melanogaster learn visual and olfactory cues?

Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) is a well-established model organism for many research areas including behaviour and learning. Fruit flies are attracted to light but display a robust avoidance of blue light. Our investigation aims to confirm that fruit flies display a preference for green over blue light and then to determine if they can be conditioned to overcome the blue light avoidance. To do this, two groups of fruit flies will be subjected to one of two reciprocal training regimes: blue light in the presence of a positive reinforcement (fructose) or green light in the presence of a negative reinforcement (sodium chloride). Each group of flies will be subsequently tested for their preference for blue or green light using a choice chamber. Fruit flies treated with blue light/fructose are expected to show stronger blue light preference than those treated with green light/sodium chloride as gustatory learning is more effective than aversive learning.”

Find out more about this project by reading the scientific poster they produced for the Royal Society student conference (PDF).

Can a school contribute effectively to open source pharma via the synthesis of novel drug analogues?

“Mycetoma is a subcutaneous fungal disease, on the WHO’s list of Neglected Tropical Diseases. It is currently incurable, so amputation is often the only choice in poorer countries; however, this causes physical disabilities for people whose lives depend upon physical labour. Throughout the course of the project, students...look to contribute to the open source research to synthesise a new molecule that will aid cure efforts. The precursor molecule ((4-chloro-2-fluorophenyl)(pyridin-3-yl) methanol), provided by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, will be reacted with thionyl chloride to convert it from an alcohol to a chloride. We then plan to react the chloride with a range of amines, previously synthesised in the laboratory, hoping to make entirely new molecules which can be characterised and tested for action against eumycetoma. The real-time collaborative nature of this novel approach to drug design enables progress to be made towards creating medicines with no traditional market.”

Find out more about this project by reading the scientific poster they produced for the Royal Society student conference (PDF).

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