Every year in March, sciences and their importance in our everyday lives are celebrated during British Science Week. Promoted by the British Science Association, it provides an opportunity for people of all ages across the UK to take part in science, engineering and technology events and activities.
This year, to celebrate British Science Week, we took our Glow in the Dark Science roadshow to three schools: Rotherfield Primary School in Islington, Beormund Primary school and Cathedral School of St. Saviour and St. Mary Overie in Borough. Throughout four days, over 200 pupils aged 5 to 11 took part in a series of practice and al fun activities around the use of fluorescence in modern biomedical sciences.
Fluorescence is visually appealing and can easily and immediately be detected using readily available equipment. Our Glow in the Dark Science project makes use of a number of 'activity stations' where children learn the basics about how fluorescence works, can observe glow-in-the-dark fish and fruit flies, try their hand at keyhole surgery and manipulate a human anatomy brain model.
“I learnt so many new things today that will come in handy as I would like to take on the job of what the scientists taught us today.”
Gabbie, Year 6
At the beginning of each session, the scientists introduced themselves and asked the questions that drive our research: What abilities does our brain provide us with? How is the brain put together? And how can we best study brain cells and their myriad of connections? Fluorescence holds the key to being able to see, follow and study these brain cells in the laboratory.
“This was a really fun part because we got to learn all about the real brain just from looking at a model and we got to hear an amazing (true) story about a man who survived a serious brain injury.”
Rebecca, Year 6
The workshops were delivered by over 20 researchers from the Centre: Emily Armstrong, Emily Baldwin Esther Bell, Darren Byrne, Andrea Chai, Adna Dumitrescu, Triona Fielding, Patricia Gordon, Christiane Hahn, Michalina Hanzel, Paul Hunter, Camilla Iannone, Rachel Jackson, Clemens Kiecker, Alfredo Llorca, Marie Niini, James Pegge, Subathra Poopalasundaram, Susana Ramos, Mark Rigby, Shaakir Salam, Thomas Shallcross, Candida Tufo, Adam Tyson, Leigh-Jane Wilson and Karen Yapp.
This project was supported by a grant from the King’s Public Engagement small grants fund.