Wednesday, 29 April 2015


Taste of University…

On a warm, sunny day the Botanic Garden and Ruskin School of Art ran a Taster Day workshop for Year 5 pupils of St Barnabas Primary School, Oxford.

These are designed to give and exciting insight as to what it might be like to study a subject at a higher level in a university setting and encourage interest in Higher Education generally.

Pupils spent their time studying the human form and making observational drawings of their own hands and feet and from models of the human skeleton. They worked alongside artist / student Tara Benjamin- Morgan finding out what it is like to work in a studio setting. 


Whilst at the Garden pupils immersed themselves in plants from the Rainforest, Desert and Insectivorous collections.  They found out how plants are adapted to different habitats making sketches of things that interested them. Pupils were then set the challenge of designing a ‘Superplant’ that could survive in an unusual habitat. The used their sketches and imaginations to come up with their creations.

In March pupils from other schools had a taste of what it can be like to be a plant scientist. These sessions coincided specifically with British Science Week. Pupils had a taste of lab work (pulling plants apart), field work (exploring the Glasshouses) and ethnobotany (By seeing what was in their packed lunches). The sessions were led by the Education team at the Garden but also ran with help from DPhil researchers from the Dept. of Plant Sciences. 


This was a chance for the researchers to work with a different type of audience, part of their module ‘Getting the Public Excited about Your Research’. The team of researchers have spent time working with families, general public and secondary school pupils, learning how to engage with different audiences and explain their work in an engaging way without the use of technical jargon!

Emma Willliams, Education Officer

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