Biomakespace Forum

Eligibility for membership: age

(n.penfold) #1


I know a youngster interested in trying out some pipetting with a view to exploring a career in biology. Her enthusiasm is for microbiology right now.

Is there a minimum age for Biomakespace? Or for the 101 courses specifically? Could there be a situation whereby an adult would accompany an under-16/under-18?

If not biomakespace, does anyone have any advice for helping an under-16 get some experience of real world microbiology?

Thanks folks!


(Lauren McGinney) #2

Unsure of age myself but I can suggest:

  • iGEM teams in the local area
  • Open Cambridge and science festivals
  • Cambridge makespace/ideaspace

(Tony Naggs) #3

Hi Naomi

The minimum age for membership is 18. We do not have any employees, and it is uncertain when volunteers will be present. Also the building has lots of other businesses. So a minimum age of 18 means we do not have to address child safeguarding issues at this point.

We are early in planning our lab courses, yes accompanied youths will probably be allowed. Down the road we hope to take some educational activities to the community, perhaps through sixth forms or CRC.

Meanwhile at Cambridge Science Festival there are family science activities in the city centre on the weekend March 17th & 18th, notably in the Guildhall. On Saturday 17th Biomakespace will be participating in the Plant and Life Sciences Marquee , in the little square you pass going to the Sedgewick Museum.

In the last few years there has been a Big Biology Day event in mid-October at Hills Road Sixth Form College. With activities brought by local businesses or developed by students, such as dissecting owl pellets, identifying mcroscope slides and I think I have seen pipetting. Details of last year’s event are here!

I hope this helps!


(Jenny Molloy) #4

I don’t have very much to add to what @tonyn said, but we are currently looking into what we would need to do to enable 16-17 year olds to attend weekly meetings and training courses.

It’s unlikely we will ever have under 16’s (even accompanied) working in the current labs except for things like the Science Festival tours when everything is really supervised because of various important things including our insurance policy and as Tony mentioned, safeguarding good practice. If we had a space where we could set up a lab that was solely for teaching and public engagement that would work better, we’d also need a person who had enough bandwidth and time to do all the things to make it happen. Hopefully those two things might materialise in the future!

However, we would like to take the lab out to them, which is why we’re keen to fundraise for some Bento Labs!

In the meantime, for a small donation we could lend a pipette and provide a box of tips so they can practice at home?

There are some great practicals on Microbiology Online that I’ve been looking at for Biomakespace, there’s a whole downloadable book called ‘Practical Microbiology for Secondary Schools’.


(n.penfold) #5

Thank you all for your suggestions, very helpful! I’ve forwarded on.

In the meantime, for a small donation we could lend a pipette and provide a box of tips so they can practice at home?

Jenny, I’ll let you know if they’re keen for this.

Thanks :slight_smile:


(Matt) #6

Work experience available at the Gurdon institute for a level students!: