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The Future Project Adventurer Experience at The Prep School

In March, The Future Project (TFP) launched the TFP Adventurer Experience at The Preparatory School to educate, inspire, and ignite young minds with the wonderful world of research and innovation. TFP industry partners, BiomeMega and The Westmead Institute for Medical Research, will run the TFP Adventurer Experience throughout 2024, ensuring that all Year 5 Prep students have the opportunity to participate in this unique experience.

In the morning’s first session, BiomeMega’s resident Bioprocess Scientist taught the students about microbes and bacteria, and shared details about both his own ‘journey to become a real scientist’ and BiomeMega’s work as TFP anchor tenant in the Senior School’s Research Precinct. The students asked and answered many detailed, brilliant questions—and their sophisticated thinking, knowledge, and reasoning really surprised the staff and professionals around the room! After this, TFP Adventurers ventured out into the playground to find microorganisms with their own bacteria-growing kits and excitedly tried to identify and swab the surfaces that they thought would contain the most bacteria. Naturally, the TFP Adventurers who headed for the student bathrooms to source their samples are extremely keen to see their results after BiomeMega has processed these in the laboratory. 

The Westmead Institute of Medical Research (WIMR) provided two PhD researchers for the day’s second session. This time, the TFP Adventurers learned all about the PhD researchers’ own education and career paths and enjoyed their excellent lectures that explained very detailed research to all abilities in the room. This time, the students learned all about immune cells, and WIMR and the PhD students’ research to cure immune system diseases, including cancer. Once again, the TFP Adventurers’ questions and engagement were excellent, and their energy and concentration were very high in WIMR’s practical activities. The TFP Adventurers rotated between two activity stations: one group was taught pipetting methods by creating tiny artworks by moving different coloured water into wells. The other group peered into top standard research microscopes under WIMR’s guidance, adjusting the lens and focus to view cell sample slides, noting various shapes and patterns, and learning to identify healthy and unhealthy tissue samples. 

Overall, TFP Adventurers learned a great deal of new scientific information, shared their own excellent and insightful questions, and were curious about the experiences of real-life scientists. The Future Project and partners are really looking forward to the next TFP Adventurer Experience at the Prep School in Term 2.

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