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There’s More to Science than Research: A Team-Based Role Game to Develop School Students’ Understanding of Science Careers in Pharmaceutical Quality Control

    Authors: Rachael Collins1, Anne Marie Krachler1,*
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    Affiliations: 1: Institute of Microbiology and Infection, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Institute of Microbiology and Infection, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK. Phone: +44(0)121 4147417. E-mail: a.krachler@bham.ac.uk.
    • ©2015 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2015 vol. 16 no. 2 263-265. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.917
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    Abstract:

    School students lack information about STEM based careers, a subject that is not sufficiently embedded in the national science curriculum. As a result, students feel they receive insufficient advice to support their choice of subjects at GCSE level and beyond. Students struggle to envisage potential career pathways leading on from studying science at school, and especially for younger students it is difficult to convey typical science-based career pictures in a way that is easily accessible to them. To address this need, we developed an interactive team-based activity which uses role play to help students envisage typical work processes within a science-based career—microbial quality control in a pharmaceutical industrial environment. This activity addresses children’s curiosity about science-based careers, by enabling them to experience typical every day work processes in an industrial environment in a hands-on fashion. Additionally, the activity helps to convey abstract concepts, such as the abundance of microbes in the natural environment, microbial contamination and the importance of hygiene, which link to the science curriculum.

References & Citations

1. Bathgate ME, Schunn CD, Correnti R2014Children’s motivation toward science across contexts, manner of interaction, and topicSci Educ9818921510.1002/sce.21095 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/sce.21095
2. Evans S2013Finding a future: the role of careers services in promoting employabilityWorking LinksLondon, UK
3. Tobin K, Capie W, Bettencourt A1988Active teaching for higher cognitive learning in scienceInternat J Sci Educ10172710.1080/0950069880100103 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0950069880100103
4. Webb NM1982Student interaction and learning in small groupsRev Educ Res5242142510.3102/00346543052003421 http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/00346543052003421
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.917
2015-12-01
2017-08-22

Abstract:

School students lack information about STEM based careers, a subject that is not sufficiently embedded in the national science curriculum. As a result, students feel they receive insufficient advice to support their choice of subjects at GCSE level and beyond. Students struggle to envisage potential career pathways leading on from studying science at school, and especially for younger students it is difficult to convey typical science-based career pictures in a way that is easily accessible to them. To address this need, we developed an interactive team-based activity which uses role play to help students envisage typical work processes within a science-based career—microbial quality control in a pharmaceutical industrial environment. This activity addresses children’s curiosity about science-based careers, by enabling them to experience typical every day work processes in an industrial environment in a hands-on fashion. Additionally, the activity helps to convey abstract concepts, such as the abundance of microbes in the natural environment, microbial contamination and the importance of hygiene, which link to the science curriculum.

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Figures

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FIGURE 1

Production team. A. “Contamination” with “microbes” (dyed flour). B. Team working on the product. C. Finished product.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2015 vol. 16 no. 2 263-265. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.917
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Image of FIGURE 2

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FIGURE 2

Quality assurance team. A. Sampling using contact plates. B. Taking swab samples. C. Plated swab sample. D. Contact plate after sampling.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2015 vol. 16 no. 2 263-265. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.917
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