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Past Outreach Events

10 October 2017 - What the Cell?!

Finger Print Results

On the 10 October 2017 the School of Life Sciences held its first Public Science event of the 17/18 academic year – ‘What the Cell?!’. This event was run by Professor Orkun Soyer who opened the evening with a talk about Cell collectives. This was then followed by three further talks given by (in order of appearance): Dr Daniel Hebenstreit (Biological Noise), Dr Munehiro Asally (how bacteria communicate using electricity) and Dr Christian Zerfas (how bacteria can be used to create Manganese Oxide).

Alongside these talks, poster displays on various themes of current cellular biology research were shown as well as various lab tours to the Synthetic Biology labs and the FACS cell sorting machine. Audience members were given an insight into the lengths of DNA in cells, how to turn your phone into a microscope and much more! It was great to see so many members of our local community and university companions there. Please come along to our next event, which will be held on Tuesday 28 November 2017. This will be led by Dr Joseph Christie-Oleza and explore the topic of ocean bacteria and their role in our ecosystems.

The above image is from the evening itself. Guests were invited to fingerprint their fingertips on to some agar gel. These were then incubated to see what was growing there! As you can see, there was quite a lot!


2 May 2017 - The microbes on us and around us: We can't see them but can't live without them

Agar Cake

On the evening of 2 May 2017 the School of Life Sciences hosts a series of fascinating talks, posters and demonstrations led by Professor Elizabeth Wellington. This Public Science evening was centred around the theme of the Microbiome - the microbes that live on and around you. With the help of Professor Ramesh Arasaradnam, Professor Laura Green, Professor Gary Bending and Dr Yin Chen; members of the public were treated to interesting discussions about how our microbiomes help us and the world around us including farm animals and plants.

Laboratory demonstrations were also given showcasing how work here in Life Sciences is examining antibiotic resistance genes and sewage effluent in the River Sowe.


10 April 2017 - Guinness World Book of Records Success for Stivichall Primary School with help from SLS

World Record Attempt

We have recently found out that Stivichall Primary School in Coventry has been awarded the world record for “the largest gathering of people dressed as scientists” with 489 people taking part. The attempt took place on the 9th July last year, as part of the school's summer fete and as a means of increasing STEM awareness after a range of STEM activities earlier in the year. This was done with the help of several SLS staff: Bruno Frenguelli, Surinder Bharma, Mike Cribdon, Emma Monaghan, Louise Whatford, Jess Gaudy and Jess Taylor. The school gave special thanks and huge credit to Gill Scott, Tracy McCusker and Gerry Keene for supplying the lab coats for the students to use and then sorting them out before/after the event. ‘Bruker UK Ltd’ also provided sponsorship of jelly-filled test tubes and mementos, as the regulations were that people had to be wearing a labcoat, safety glasses and holding a piece of scientific equipment (hence the test tubes). We would like to thank everyone from SLS who took part in this record breaking achievement and we look forward to hopefully doing more things like this in the future.


10 - 19 March 2017 - British Science Week Activities

This week saw lots of outreach activities from the School of Life Sciences to help promote British Science Week. British Science week is a 10-day programme of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) events and activities across the UK for people of all ages. SLS contributes to outreach activity and public engagement in many ways and Science week staff and students took part in a variety of events.

13th March: Satya Prakash was selected to present his research at the annual STEM for BRITAIN poster exhibition in the House of Commons. He spoke to MPs and discussed his work on ‘De novo engineering of RNA circuits in E.coli and directed evolution of novel biomolecules with phage’.

14th March: Dr Robert Spooner, Liam Riley and Rachel Clewes gave a practical lesson in PCR technology to the Year 13 students at Guilsborough Academy in Northampton.

16th March: Professor Kevin Moffat, Rachel Clewes, Liam Riley and Natassa Kanali gave practical lessons in digestion and brain anatomy which included making jelly brains to the Year 4 students at Stoke Primary School.

18th March: Dr Robert Spooner and Liam Riley took leeches, a poster and comics to showcase the uses of medicinal leeches to members of the public visiting the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust exhibition - Method in the Madness: Understanding Ourselves Then & Now.

SBPT Rob and Liam

7 February 2017 - The Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust Warwick Food Security Lecture: Keeping Plant Pathogens at Bay

Food Security

On the evening of Tuesday 7 February, Professor Murray Grant led a Public Science event exploring the issues of Food Security faced by the global and local community. As the Elizabeth Creak chair in Food Security Murray was supported in this event by the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust.

This event was supported by various academics from both SLS in Gibbet Hill and SLS in Wellesbourne. Professor Murray Grant gave insightful and engaging talks on the state of food security across the world, plant science research that occurs within the department and on the growing threat banana wilt is having on our favourite fruit! A further talk was also given by Dr Miriam Gifford on how we can use beneficial microbes to support the growth of crops, including how we can use beneficial fungi to increase crop yield.

The public were also shown many key areas of plant research here in the school including how we are preparing to combat diamondback moth invasions, regional cuisine and beans, as well as viral and soil borne diseases of plants.

31 January 2017 - St Margaret's Primary School Family Learning Night

This evening saw Professor Kevin Moffat give a talk on the heart and demonstrate ECG machines to primary school children in Whitnash. This was a highly successful evening that saw children of all ages have fun learning about their heart and how we can measure it as scientists.

"The talk was really informative and entertaining for our families; it was wonderful to offer the extra dimension of using the ECG machines" - Dr Rebecca Ellis, Organiser.

See below a Pic-Collage the school made to show the success of the event.

Professor Moffat at Whitnash

The School of Life Sciences is committed to the spread of biological research and knowledge into the local community.

Over the past year we have been involved in several Outreach and Public Engagement events across the West Midlands area, in schools, villages and here on campus.

This page will give you a sample of the work we do here in the department. If you have any queries please contact SLS dot Outreach at Warwick dot ac dot uk