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Tropical trip to St Andrews

Keen young Biologists spent two days at the University of St Andrews recently as part of their Higher Biology curriculum.

For the first time, the University’s School of Biology hosted a visit of eighty senior secondary school pupils – the youngsters, from Bell Baxter High School, are studying Plant Adaptations to the Environment as part of their Higher Biology studies. The visit was in collaboration with the St Andrews Botanic Garden Education Team.

The 5th and 6th year pupils were first of all given a warm welcome with ‘guided-tours’ of the desert and tropical glasshouses at the Botanic Gardens. At the University, researchers gave the group the opportunity to carry out relevant experiments such as measuring water movement and water loss in different plants. They were also shown how thermal imaging can be used to detect when a plant needs watering.

The visit was supported by the Friends of St Andrews Botanic Garden Education programme, which has been running for over three years. Over 2000 primary school pupils have participated so far and the St Andrews event was one of the first secondary school visits.

Dr Alyson Tobin, a Reader in the School of Biology and local Schools Liaison coordinator for the BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council), organised the event.

She said: “It was a real pleasure to work with the Bell Baxter pupils. They worked hard all day and obtained some really good results from the experiments. We will be more than happy to welcome them back another time.”

It is hoped that similar visits will follow as the Education Programme expands with the proposed formation of a formal Trust to oversee the long-term running of the scheme as a joint venture between the Friends, the University, and Fife Council.

ENDS

NOTE TO PICTURE EDITORS:

A JPEG OF THE SCHOOL VISIT, SHOWING BELL BAXTER PUPILS NEIL FERGUSON AND PETER CROCKETT WORKING AT THE UNIVERSITY IS AVAIABLE FROM THE PRESS OFFICE – CONTACT BELOW.

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook, Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st- andrews.ac.uk Ref: Tropical trip to St Andrews 110405.doc View the latest University press releases at http://www.st- andrews.ac.uk

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