Decoding Nature

Girls doing lab work for the Decoding NAture project

At a glance

Students generate DNA sequencing data.

Type of activity: Residential field trips lasting from a few hours to a five-day stay

Who can take part? School groups (Key Stage 2+) and individuals of any age

When? Throughout the year

Where? Dorset

Cost: Varies (contact us for details)

School students collaborate with Museum scientists on their latest research, discovering science and nature through hands-on activities.

Inspiring the scientists of the future

Decoding Nature offers children of all ages the opportunity to participate in research led by scientists from the Museum.

Activities vary depending on the research question, but include:

  • species and habitat recording
  • collecting plants to create museum-quality specimens
  • extracting samples for DNA sequencing

Read about some recent activities in our blog.

The research focuses on using DNA barcoding to identify species and understand species relationships. For an introduction to DNA barcoding go to the Barcode of Life website, an international collaboration that Decoding Nature contributes data to.

Students will learn the skills needed to collaborate with scientists and produce research-quality data for scientific publications.

How to take part

1. Email us to register your interest or for more information.

2. We will contact you to discuss your requirements and match them with our current research activities.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • produce research-quality scientific data and DNA sequences
  • experience a variety of fieldwork techniques
  • gain insight into a career in science

We cover biological topics from Key Stages 2-4, Common Entrance and A-Level syllabuses.

Project team

Find out more about the Museum's science, society and skills activities.

In partnership with:


Funded by:

Do you want to get involved in Decoding Nature?