The Falkirk school hosted a visit from the Curiosity Cube – a 22ft by 10ft container equipped with all the latest technology, where they were able to carry out experiments under the watchful eye of employees from Livingston-based Merck.
With the STEM sector expected to grow significantly in Europe over the next decade, the mobile science lab is addressing the urgent need to train up the next generation of scientists to fill this pipeline by providing youngsters with the opportunity to experience hands-on science.
This year’s theme of the Cub was Microbiome – the community of microorganisms that can usually be found living together in any given habitat – with pupils getting the chance to try out three different experiments.
They learnt about the different bacteria making up our microbiome and using microscopes they identified and explored the bacteria all around us.
With the help of a “bacteria robot”, students learnt about what influences our microbiome. They also helped Mike Robiome make healthy choices to improve his microbiome.
Then using scientific lab tools, students learnt about the uniqueness of their microbiome with each youngster creating a replica of their very own microbiome.
A spokesperson said: “It’s also been shown that there is a strong correlation between socioeconomic status and early learning, causing a gap in opportunities for even the youngest of students. Through the Curiosity Cube, Merck is working to minimize this gap by engaging with schools with fewer resources and participating in events that reach the underserved throughout its tour.”