Tracing Cinderella’s DNA for British Science Week

16 March 2016

Students and graduates from the University of Derby celebrated British Science Week (March 11-20, 2016) by bringing forensic science to life through the mode of fairy tale.

Biological science students and graduates visited Lawn Primary School in Allestree, today (March 16) to deliver a play on the classic fairy tale Cinderella, but much to the children’s surprise, the students had implemented a modern forensic twist.

The school children (aged between 9-11 years old) worked with University students and graduates using forensic tactics to identify Cinderella. They used fingerprint technology, DNA agarose gel to find Cinderella’s footprint and DNA strands in order to identify her.

British Science Week is an annual celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths.

Lawn Primary School teacher, Lee Archer, said: “The visit from University of Derby students and graduates has provided our pupils with the opportunity to do something new, fun and enjoyable while also raising awareness of science.”  

Biology students and graduates

The idea derived from a science communication module the students and graduates undertook while studying at the University of Derby.

Ian Turner, Head of Forensic Science at the University of Derby and former Chair of the British Science Association Derbyshire branch, said: “This is such a fantastic and novel twist on the fairy tale and I’m sure it inspired and engaged the pupils at Lawn Primary School."

The 13 University students and graduates are all part of the British Science Association Derbyshire branch.

Cristina Plant, University of Derby Zoology graduate and Chair of the British Science Association Derbyshire branch, said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to visit Lawn Primary School to bring British Science Week to life for local children.”