Scary science is attention grabber

15th June 2007 at 01:00
(Photograph) - Science teacher Anita Kapila, of Burnham Upper School near Slough, Buckinghamshire, never worries about how to make her lessons interesting, writes Irena Barker.

After a 15-year career in bio-medical research, she has more gory tales to tell than anyone else in the school and the pupils love it. If their attention starts to stray, Mrs Kapila (above, with headteacher Max Billsborough), will grab refocus them by telling them about her former job: harvesting cells from pieces of human umbilical cord and placenta.

The story of how she used human fat and skin to help develop drugs also goes down a storm.

And she is not lacking in contacts to arrange an exciting trip. Lonza, the drug company she most recently worked for, was happy to host a visit.

Mrs Kapila, 40, went into teaching five years ago because the science lab was "too lonely for an extrovert".

She said: "Having had another career is a big advantage. When they took me on they put me on a higher pay rate to recognise my experience. I feel I bring professionalism and responsibility to the job."

Photograph: Russell Sach

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