Next week is the UK’s first ever National Biology Week – so we’ve put together a special edition of our newsletter to celebrate. Find out what's on near you, try out our own latest resource with your science club, and take a look at Charles Darwin's lost Beagle specimens. If you enjoy this newsletter, and want more news and resources every week, don't forget you can also follow us on Twitter or friend us on Facebook.
What’s on around the country for Biology Week
There are biology events around the country, for school students, teachers and the wider public. From public lectures to hands-on science fairs, there’ll be plenty happening. If you're in London, why not get your students buzzing with a free lecture for post-16 students on why bees are so crucial to our environment and our crops? Meanwhile, Cambridge biologists are offering a day of hands-on biology for all ages.
Find out what’s on near you.
Science Week activity – Medicines and poisons from plants game
A new resource launched for Biology Week – this ‘trumps’ card game introduces students to chemicals in plants that can both harm and heal. The game can be used as an engaging game with KS3 / KS4 students looking at poisons and medicines, and also at a more sophisticated level to introduce post-16 student to plant-derived pharmaceuticals.
Play the 'trumps' game
This resource was developed by a member of our SAPS Associate scheme, funded by a SAPS Associate Award.
More science club activities can be found on our website
Survey: developing posters and animations
In our recent surveys on what new resources you’d like the SAPS team to develop, several people requested classroom posters and biology animations.
We’re now looking at developing these, and we’ve got a short survey to find out more about what people would find useful.
Please fill out our survey here. It should take between 2 and 5 minutes to complete.
November Focus group: Science Learning Centre London
If you’d like to share your ideas about new resources for us to develop – and receive a £15 John Lewis voucher as a thank you – why not join us at our next biology teachers’ focus group, in the Science Learning Centre London. Over a cup of tea and some cake, we’ll talk about what makes a useful animation or classroom poster. The event will take place from 4.30 - 6.00pm, Weds 21st November.
Don’t forget: ASE Annual Conference Early Bird Deadline 26th October
If you’re joining us at the ASE Annual Conference in January 2013, don’t forget to book your ticket before the early bird deadline, 26th October. Together with other members of the Society of Biology, we’re running a series of lectures and drop-in workshops, featuring the best in contemporary biology.
To celebrate our 21st birthday, SAPS is planning a birthday celebration on our stand, complete with birthday cake. There’ll even be a small present for SAPS Associates attending the celebration, so join us there.
Book your ticket
News: Darwin’s lost specimens found again, but what is a herbarium?
Just a few hundred metres from the SAPS office, a scientist in the Cambridge University Herbarium was sorting through an old box when she came across some remarkable specimens. Chief Technician Christine Bartram explained “I was going through a box labelled in 1950 ‘to be sorted’. Inside it, wrapped in a newspaper from 1828, I found fungi and seaweed collected by Charles Darwin on the Beagle Voyage in South America during 1832 and 1833. And in a brown paper bag, I discovered plant specimens collected by C.G.Seligmann, doctor on the 1898 Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to the Torres Strait Islands”.
But herbariums have more secrets than this. They are vital repositories of both DNA and ecological history, and will play an important role in biology over the course of the 21st century.
Find out more about herbariums and the lost Darwin specimens in this short video or the article on the Daily Mail website.
And finally... World Record Attempt from the Society of Biology
At 2.30pm on 19th October people around the country will help the Society of Biology set a new record for the world’s largest memory game.
Studying memory and the brain has improved our understanding of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and helped us appreciate what it means to be human. The Society has produced learning resources to go alongside the record attempt to explore some of this research. Even if you aren't able to take part in the record you are still welcome to play the game and use the resources.
Find out more
Hope your Science Week goes with a buzz!
The Administratort, Dan Jenkins, Elizabeth MacDonald and Ginny Page