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University of East Anglia hosted SUPI

Principal Investigator: Professor Kay Yeoman

Title: School-University Partnerships for Research

Lead school: City of Norwich School (Norwich)

Original project proposal

The University of East Anglia (UEA), which is part of the Norwich Research Park (NRP), has received funding from RCUK to form a partnership, with a number of secondary schools that will engage staff and students with the process and understanding of the research process and its outcomes. Research is the foundation upon which all new knowledge is built, it is a vital and fascinating process and will be crucial in the development of a knowledge economy.

Students at East Norfolk 6th Form College starting their Lichen DNA ExtractionThe partnership includes the City of Norwich School (CNS) as the lead school, with Attleborough High School, Archbishop Sancroft High School, East Norfolk 6th Form College, Thetford Academy and Wymondham Academy in Norfolk, as well as the Kesgrave and Farlingaye Teaching Alliance in Suffolk and Norwich School also participating. Within the school: university partnership, the NRP will engage students with the ideas and processes of research that occurs across all subject areas, including science, history, literature, language and art. We will show how research is done and highlight the differences and similarities between the research processes in different disciplines. We will also show that sciences, arts and humanities subjects do not exist in isolation, and that much can be gained by working together in a cross-disciplinary way to investigate and solve problems. Dr Kay Yeoman, the project leader says that this is a really exciting opportunity for schools and the NRP to work together to enthuse school students.

As well as involving all of the research active organisations on the NRP the partnership will also involve other local and national organisations, including the Teacher:Scientist Network (TSN), the Science, Art and Writing (SAW) Trust, UEA's newly established Centre for Writing and Science, the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and the Engineering Development Trust (EDT). The cross disciplinary, multi-partner based approach, will enable the programme to inspire a future generation.

Recent activities

  • Claire Bushell, a PhD student at the John Innes Centre who did an internship with the project, has written up a case study here.
  • Super Science Saturday took place at CNS on the 22nd March, undergraduate students from the School of Biological Science at UEA, designed hands-on activities for a family audience.
  • 6th form students from across our partnership have taken part in an ambitious project barcoding lichens, using modern molecular biology techniques. Their results will contribute to our understanding of the distribution of algae within the lichen symbiosis.
  • A group of students at CNS (our lead school) have been doing a year-long project, mastering molecular biology and working towards their British Science Association Silver Crest Award.
  • 6th form students from across the partnership took part in a research oriented ‘Civil Rights’ conference with humanities researchers from UEA.
  • The Science Art and Writing Trust (SAW) ran a training workshop for science and humanities teachers, who are now going to work together in their schools to run SAW projects.

Project contact: Professor Kay Yeoman (k.yeoman@uea.ac.uk)  

Project website: http://ueasupp.org

Associated case study: 
UEA Summer School
Case studies
Case studies