Biology is a the study of life and living organisms, including features such as structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. It is the subject which deals with the origins of life and the understanding of living processes.
Biology is studied at UK schools at least until GCSE, and studying biology at A-level is useful for students who wish to study for Higher Education qualifications in medicine, vetinary sciences, zoology, sports science, ecology and environmental science, genetics, microbiology, and marine biology, amongst others.
Although physics is often considered the most 'relatable' science to space research, the application of biology is vital to answer some of the most exciting questions: how did life on Earth begin and is there the potential for life elsewhere in the universe? The search for indicators of past life on Mars, the affects of human spaceflight on the body, and the use of space technology to observe ecosystems and life on Earth are all excellent starting points for exploring the 14-19 biology curriculum.
The theme of exobiology (the search for life on other worlds) is used as a context to teach a wide range of curriculum areas, all of which are common to current specifications.
This masterclass uses the context of studying planet Earth and its inhabitants in a day-long intensive programme designed to support A-level students in their curriculum studies. The discussion of other planets such as Mars in comparison with the Earth is a starting point for exploring the origins and development of life on Earth.
Students will undertake scientific investigations with a focus on developing their skills in experimental design and evaluation of results. The experiments on the day will relate to curriculum topics that students may not realise have a connection to space science, providing a novel approach to fundamental themes in biology and challenging students' perceptions of space science.
For a more detailed outline of masterclasses offered at the National Space Centre or in your own school, please contact us.