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Pupils see life under a microscope with Marty

Friday 22 November 2019

From the moment Marty Jopson uttered the words “Would you like to see something gross and disgusting?” he had his audience of Y5 and Y6 pupils hooked.

Science presenter and writer Marty is the resident scientist on the BBC’s One Show and is well known to local audiences as a founder of the Otley Science Festival. Marty brought his science show Invisible Worlds, which he describes as “a safari of very small things”, to The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) for an audience of GSAL Y6 and Y5 from Manor Wood Primary School.

The show’s “gross and disgusting” opener was a head louse, magnified under a microscope and projected onto a big screen so that the children could clearly identify it as an insect and see how it clings onto human hair.

Marty followed up with live specimens of a spider and a woodlouse, and the children were left in no doubt as to why it hurts when they run into a stinging nettle. Blown up under the microscope the incredibly sharp stinging cells like tiny syringes were plain to see.

Marty also showed the children magnifications of pond life, including hydra and algae, and human cells (harvested from himself and a brave audience member) found in blood and inside the mouth.

Nancy Lester, Y5 science lead at Manor Wood Primary School, said: “We love science at Manor Wood and make it as practical as possible. The workshop was fun and engaging – but also very informative – and really brought science to life. It was a great opportunity to explore things the children haven’t seen, or even thought about, before!”

The Otley Science Festival ran from 11 to 16 November. This year GSAL became a sponsor of the festival, providing transport for local school children to attend events and supporting the week’s grand finale, the Otley Science Fair.

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