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Putting disadvantaged young people in the running for places at the UK’s most selective universities.

For the past three years we have been working with Generating Genius, a charitable organisation that supports talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to realise their potential in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). Through an aspirational programme of science leadership, academic interventions and industry-linked opportunities for students they help ‘level the playing field’ for these young people.  

On the 19th of June 2015 we hosted a visit by a group of GCSE and A level students from South and East London. The day started with a visit to Scott Waddell’s laboratory in the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour. Here our visitors learnt some essential lab skills including; correct use of a Gilson pipette, use of a micro centrifuge and quantitation of DNA. They were also able to take part in experiments demonstrating phototaxis and negative geotaxis in drosophila and learnt about the value of flies to neuroscience research. Special thanks to Paola Cognigni, Oliver Barnstedt, Christoph Treiber, Gaurav Das and Suewei Lin for making this part of the day such a success.

After a short visit to the Biosense exhibition, the young people were treated to lunch at Brasenose followed by a tour and a chance to talk to current students about life at Oxford.

The day continued with a highly accessible talk by Russell Foster about the work of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute. Finally, Peter Brown from the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit gave an interactive demonstration exploring how brain stimulation can be used to treat CNS disorders.  

We look forward to developing our relationship with Generating Genius in the future.