|Copley Academy European Projects|
EXtraction of oils from plants
During the mobility in Italy the students performed the extraction of oils from plants.
The pupils began their investigation by collecting samples of herbs from the garden at Galileo Galilei. These included thyme, rosemary and sage.
The pupils then extracted the essential oils from these plants using distillation. Although pupils have observed distillation at Copley they have never carried it out themselves due to lack of resources. Furthermore, this distillation was done on a much larger scale using equipment that we do not have access to in the UK school.
Once the oils were extracted, the students continued their investigation to find out the antimicrobial properties of these oils. Again the student had access to resources and techniques that not even our lab technicians in the UK have access to.
The pupils began by making their own agar gel ready to culture bacteria on. Under sterile conditions the pupils then spread the bacteria on the plates and placed disks soaked in the extracted essential oils onto the plates. The plates were incubated and later observed to see if the essential oils had antimicrobial properties, by observing if there was a zone of inhibition around the essential oil disk where bacteria were not present.
Virtual experiments & research
Whilst the Italian mobility occurred, the students used the wide range of technology from Ipads to laptops to watch simulations and research the use of herbs in medicines etc.
The controlled assessment pieces in the UK vary for each year group. The topic for the class of year 2016 is essential oils and part of the assessment is a research element.
The class of 2015 project participants designed a powerpoint for staff in the UK to use as a teaching tool for this project.