Last week, Transition Year pupils from the College hosted a workshop on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) with pupils from Nøtterøy High School in Norway. This was the fourth time Nøtterøy High School have visited the College in as many years and each year a new area of science is explored and debated using a collaborate approach to learning.

The day began with the pupils being divided into nine teams, with pupils from both schools on each team. A few icebreaker challenges allowed the teams get to know one another before the real work kicked off. Our first such challenge was a construction activity where each team had to suspend a plastic cup in the air, hanging from a structure made only from straws and tape.

The pupils were given a short presentation and shown a video about genetically modified organisms, learning about the positives and negatives of GMOs. Later the pupils participated in a variety of collaborative activities which helped them learn about different types of GMOs, and the advantages of each.

After lunch, each team had to design their own GMO, and present and pitch their new product to the group. There were some very creative ideas, such as chocolate with added iron, and a Crale (mix between a crab and a whale) which filtered microplastics from the ocean. The winner of this activity was the Pineango, a mix of genes between a pineapple and a mango, allowing people to absorb vitamins more easily from their food and reduce teenage acne. In all it was another highly successful and enjoyable collaboration between two very different schools, once again organised by Ms Hennessy. One pupil remarked:

This was a very beneficial experience and we learned a lot about collaboration and teamwork, as well as some interesting facts and information about GMOs.