Hundreds of Harlow pupils set to be wowed by Public Health England in British Science Week

Public Health

HUNDREDS of Harlow pupils are being wowed by Public Health England (PHE) scientists this week as part of a national celebration of science.

Five schools in and around the town are being inspired by this year’s British Science Week through a series of fun and engaging interactive sessions. These include:

· Pupils extracting DNA from their own cells using everyday items such as household detergents;

· Seeing how dirty pupils’ hands really are. This involves using a hand cream that has a fluorescent dye which only shows up under ultraviolet light;

· Looking at different microbes under a microscope. Pupils can photograph them and share them on Instagram.

The five Harlow schools form half of ten schools across England where PHE scientists are holding science workshops for British Science Week. The schools in and around Harlow are: Burnt Mill Academy, Forest Hall School, Mark Hall Academy, Stewards Academy and Passmores Academy.

Clinical scientist Dr Derren Ready said:

“Public Health England is a world-leading centre of scientific influence which has helped transform the nation’s public health and healthcare. We want to inspire the next generation of young scientists to step forward and this event is a wonderful opportunity to show just how much fun science can be. It will be fantastic to see pupils’ eyes light up as they take part and these sessions really bring science to life. It is also a great way of underlining the hugely important role PHE scientists play in helping protect and improve the nation’s health.”

Harlow Council leader Cllr Emma Toal said:

“Science Week is a fabulous way of bringing science to life for young people in a fun, interactive and exciting way and it is fantastic that five schools in and around Harlow will be taking part. With Harlow Council having just given planning permission for PHE’s new public health science campus and headquarters, this couldn’t come at a more appropriate time. The future is bright for Harlow and we are looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with PHE.”

British Science Week is an annual ten-day event, with this year being its 24th year running. It encourages organisations, professionals in the science sector, science communicators and the general public to hold events that get people involved in scientific activities.

The PHE scientists taking part specialise in a range of disciplines, including toxicology, microbiology, environmental public health, microscopy, vaccine research and epidemiology.

PHE was given planning permission in December (2017) to create a world-leading public health science campus. The landmark decision by Harlow Council helps secure PHE’s role as a global leader in applying cutting-edge science to protect and improve the public’s health for the next generation through the creation of a state-of-the-art centre of national and international scientific expertise. PHE Harlow, as the site will be known, is expected to employ up to 2,750 people by 2024, with scope for further expansion. The campus is critical to the future of PHE, ensuring we will be able to use the latest scientific advances to deliver our world-leading science and evidence for issues such as obesity, smoking, alcohol, diabetes, dementia, infectious diseases, environmental hazards and climate change nationally and internationally.

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