Page content

Ulster University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences welcomed post-primary school teachers, from across Northern Ireland, to the Coleraine campus to attend a workshop designed to offer support in the delivery of A level curriculum.

Supported by STEM Learning and the Royal Society of Chemistry, the workshop was focused on supporting modules within A level Life and Health Sciences and A level Chemistry, specifically the ‘Scientific Method, Investigation, Analysis and Evaluation’ and ‘Medicines, Drugs and Clinical Trials’ modules.

The workshop was divided into two areas looking at scientific investigations. In the morning session, the focus was on the Carousel of Practical Experiments in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, which was facilitated by Dr Johanne Brolly, Royal Society of Chemistry Education Coordinator for Ireland.

This was followed with a lecture on The Drug Digoxin from the Foxglove Plant: From concept to consumer, led by the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences’ Dr Heather Coleman (Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Academic Lead for Outreach and Civic Engagement), and Dr Deborah Lowry (Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutics and Associate Head of School).

The teachers also enjoyed a tour of the facilities available in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Dr Johanne Brolly, Ireland’s Education Coordinator for the Royal Society of Chemistry, said:

“The Royal Society of Chemistry are incredibly grateful to Dr Coleman, Dr Lowry, and Ulster University for their support in helping us towards our mission to empower communities to offer an excellent chemistry education to all, driving greater diversity and improving skills in the chemical sciences. The generous bursaries from STEM Learning UK have allowed sixteen schools to release their Life and Health Science teachers for the day to come to this very worthwhile event.  

“Through networking, sharing good practice and using the RSC’s resources first hand, they return to their schools feeling not only motivated but confident in their skills and knowledge of the support they have. We are delighted and grateful to have Ulster University’s two very prestigious and experienced lectures partner with us on this event and the services offered from two industry STEM Ambassadors, to extend the support available to the attendees.”

Dr Heather Coleman, Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Academic Lead for Civic and Outreach Engagement at Ulster University, added:

“This was an excellent event for teachers of A level Life and Health Science and A level Chemistry - to provide them with an insight into the development of a drug from natural sources from concept to consumer and to provide them with both practical and written resources to take back to the classroom. It was a privilege to support them in these subject areas and to inspire them in their chosen subject area. 

“We are extremely grateful for the support from the Royal Society of Chemistry and STEM Learning UK and to Dr Johanne Brolly, the RSC Education Coordinator for Ireland for facilitating. The success of the event will most certainly lead to other opportunities in this area – we look forward to the next one!”

Feedback from the teachers was very positive and they found the workshop “very helpful” and “The practical session was excellent.”