Students from across Scotland will be able to attend a work experience at the University of Dundee this week following the introduction of virtual tours.
The University’s School of Life Sciences hosts students from S5-6 each year, with pupils from local schools given a taster of career opportunities in the sector.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, however, work experience opportunities will be taken online. The re-designed programme will give pupils the same experience as a conventional work experience week, except in a virtual setting.
Virtual tours of labs at the university’s School of Medicine will also be available. Students will be able to see scientific experiments, live workshops and career stories through the virtual platform.
Talks by scientists from the School of Medicine and the School of Life Sciences will introduce the high school students to the broad range of research projects underway in Dundee, as well as different career opportunities in science.
Erin Hardee, schools outreach organiser at the School of Life Science said the virtual experience will give students an insight into the various career opportunities in the life sciences sector.
She said: “Many pupils are unfamiliar with the wide range of careers involved in life sciences research and think that studying science is only worthwhile if you want to be a doctor.
“Virtual tours of labs and engaging presentations, online workshops, bioinformatics activities and interactive group sessions with researchers will give students a well-rounded idea of the career opportunities open to them.”
The Life Science Work Experience Week has been running since October 2017 and usually attracts around 20 pupils to take part. However, this year more than 40 have signed up to the online portal.
Pivoting to the virtual tours has enabled the University to expand its range and and attract more pupils, Hardee noted.
“We have pupils from all over Scotland signed up, which will hopefully help Dundee’s reputation grow,” she said.
Dr Chris Henstridge of the School of Medicine, commented: “This is a great opportunity to showcase the exciting opportunities of a career in medicine and medical research and we look forward to welcoming the pupils to the school.”