Manchester Fly Facility: droso4schools

by | Feb 3, 2022

Fruit fly research covers many areas of biomedical science, providing opportunities to teach biology in engaging ways, link to contemporary research, and create memorable micro-experiments that are affordable and feasible in schools.

The droso4schools initiative, driven by Sanjai Patel and Professor Andreas Prokop at the Manchester Fly Facility, promotes the use of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster for the teaching of curriculum-relevant content in school biology lessons.

Through long-term collaboration with teachers and university student placements in schools, we’ve developed seven biology lessons with support materials and educational films. All resources are free to download, and are explained and supported through our droso4schools website.

“My pupils got to experience hands on what it’s like to ‘be a scientist’, and the opportunity to work with living organisms and performing their own ‘mini-experiments’ was extremely engaging for them.

“They loved seeing the bigger picture as to how laboratory research can impact human quality of life. It linked brilliantly with practical-based questions in the new GCSE specification, and I really think it inspired pupils to take a science A-level.”
Teacher, Southport

Currently, the AQA examination board is considering ways to bring flies into UK examinations, and teachers and researchers from across the world are using the resources.

The educational films are available in Spanish, Indonesian and Arabic, and plans are underway to establish droso4schools in Indonesia, Croatia and Nigeria.

Our resources are complemented by an active programme of school visits and teacher training, which in turn provide new ideas for the droso4schools initiative.

Key stats:

  • Fly genetics training package: more than 30,000 downloads
  • Reported use of resources in 20 nations across 6 continents
  • Educational films with 30,000 views translated into Spanish, Arabic and Indonesian

Find out more on the Manchester Fly Facility website.