STEM Teachers’ Conference

Thursday 28 June 9:30 until 15:30
Chichester Lecture Theatre, University of Sussex

Book your place today on our free STEM teachers' conference.

We are delighted to be collaborating with Sussex Science Learning Partnership (SLP) for you to expand your knowledge and discover the latest thinking on policy and practical application of science in schools.

There will also be a complimentary lunch. Book your place today.


STEM Teachers' Conference Programme


9.15                Registration and refreshments


9.30                How can research such as Science Capital have an impact on the work of schools? Wayne Jarvis, Senior Network Educational Lead for STEM Learning at the National STEM Learning Centre

Science capital is an approach that might be able to change the way students view science. The session will look at some strategies that can be engaged to enthuse students with science in a real-world context. There will also be signposting to other current opportunities for schools to engage with based on research and engaging students.

10.15               The Sussex University Chromosome Research in Schools Programme – Jon Baxter

The School of Life Sciences is running a pilot program to train and support Year 12/13 students to carry out experiments analysing how defects in DNA replication affect chromosome stability. In this talk I will describe our laboratory based research and why it is important for human health. I will describe how we have designed aspects of our research to be transferable to a school laboratory and how we have worked with several schools in the Brighton area to carry out these experiments in a science club setting. Finally I will describe our plans to expand this partnership to the wider region and invite anybody interested in being involved to contact me.


10.30               Refreshment Break


10.45               CPD Sessions                     

Pharmacy - Making paracetamol tablets

Professor Ali Nokhodchi 

Hands-on lab session will cover making paracetamol granules via wet granulation method using PVP as a binder. The obtained paracetamol granules will be mixed with a lubricant followed by the compression of granules into tablets using a single punch tableting machine at different speeds. At the end, the quality of paracetamol tablets will be examined in terms of weight variations, hardness, friability and disintegration time. 


Chemistry - Exploring cryoscopy

Dr Aidan Fisher and Dr Shane Lo Fan Hin

This analytical lab session will introduce the field of cryoscopy, a simple but effective method of identifying an unknown compound through freezing point depression. In this experiment, you will compare the freezing point depression of a known and an unknown substance in the same solvent (cyclohexane, C6H12), in order to determine the molar mass of the unknown. To further interrogate the chemical structure, the unknown will be characterised using FT-IR to probe any functional groups.


Genetics - Moving genetic manipulation from theory into practice

Dr Neil Crickmore and Dr Felicity Watts

Our 2nd year genetics students get to undertake a mini project involving the cloning and mutagenesis of a biotechnologically relevant gene. The practical session will involve experiencing one part of this project along with some associated theory and use of DNA analysis software.



Mathematics outreach for schools at the University of Sussex - Dr Max Jensen

Hot topics in mathematics research at Sussex - Professor Istvan Kiss and Dr Filippo Cagnetti

The Moebius Strip: a mathematical activity for all ages - students from the Maths & Physical Science outreach team

Mathematical demonstrations - students from the Maths & Physical Science outreach team



Physics outreach for schools at the University of Sussex - Professor Mark Hindmarsh

Hot topics in physics research at Sussex - Professor Alan Dalton and Professor Peter Krueger

Research lab tour: Quantum Technology - research students from the Quantum Technology Lab

Approaching required practicals in an inclusive way: A workshop for teachers - Colin Piper, Teaching and Learning Coach, Institute of Physics Schools Physics Network coordinator


13.00               Lunch with colleagues and faculty


13.45               Research Hot Topics: the things we are excited about:  


Identification of a rare inherited condition that leads to infant death through severe lung disease - Dr Jo Murray

An international collaboration between UK, Dutch and American geneticists and clinicians has led to the identification of a new inherited syndrome, LICS syndrome, associated with severe lung disease, immunodeficiency and chromosome instability. 

We were contacted by doctors in the Netherlands studying a family where two girls died soon after their first birthdays of severe lung disease following pneumonia. Genome sequencing revealed a defect in a gene called NSMCE3 and we were able to show that the problem in the patient’s cells was due to a defect in the Smc5/6 complex. This essential protein complex is required for accurate copying and repair of the genome. When Smc5/6 is not fully functional, cells use inappropriate processes to repair leading to an increase in errors, which can result in chromosome rearrangements and this can lead to cell death or cancer.


Chemistry –  Professor Richard Layfield


IMUR: better outcomes for everybody – Dr Andreas Manfrin


The prevalence of asthma has been increasing since the late 1990’s. It has been estimated that about 400 million people will suffer from asthma by 2025. Asthma accounts for an economic loss of €72 billion annually in the 28 countries of the EU. This research describes the first attempt to deliver a novel community pharmacy intervention for asthma patients, across the Italian territory and to evaluate its effectiveness and cost-effectiveness (value for money). The name of the intervention is Italian Medicines Use Review (I-MUR). The presentation will provide an overview of the steps involved in the development and delivery of I-MUR. It will present the results of a cluster randomised controlled trial which, to the best of our knowledge, appears to be the largest trial of a community pharmacy intervention in asthma conducted in any country in terms of the numbers of pharmacists and patients.


Robotics and Artificial Intelligence - Dr Phil Birch

The UK Government has identified Robotics as 'one of the UK's eight great technologies', whilst Artificial Intelligence is being heralded as the fourth industrial revolution. From autonomous factories, to self-driving cars, to smart homes, these technologies are revolutionising every aspect of our modern lives. Current research at Sussex is at the forefront of these emerging fields. This talk will give you novel insights into recent developments in the fields of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, as well as exploring how these technologies are likely to shape the future.


15.00               Closing Remarks

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By: Daniel Weismayr
Last updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2018