The weekend saw LSTM’s MSc. Tropical Disease Biology students take the family-friendly pop-up science exhibit, Club Tropicana, to the Victoria Gallery & Museum as part of British Science Week.
The students engaged with nearly 200 young children and adults, inspiring them about the natural world around them. The students introduced the visitors to the microscopic world, demonstrating the various parasites scientists often observe in blood samples, followed by LSTM’s more gruesome macroscopic parasites in jars! Through these demonstrations the young children explored the tropical science that is taking place on their doorstep.
Lucy Wust, one of the MSc. students who took part in the afternoon said: “It was fun being able to connect with people of all ages and different backgrounds on a topic i feel very passionate about! Sharing knowledge and enthusiasm in an interactive but educational setting meant that everyone, including ourselves, went home having learnt something new. This exchange is what science is all about! " Dr James LaCourse, course director of the MSc. Tropical Disease Biology added: "I’m delighted to see our MSc students recognising the importance of public engagement and communication of science. Perhaps never before have we required a more scientifically literate and informed population than we do at present. Engaging the wider public as well as inspiring the next generation of scientists is essential if we are to ensure future trust in scientists and an evidenced-based progress in future challenges facing us.”
Public Engagement Manager Dr Elli Wright also said: “Feedback from the visitors was very positive, with young children drawing their favourite parasite and insect on our lab coat. It was lovely to see the impact that chatting to our scientists had on the youngsters! It was wonderful to see how engaged the parents were at the VG&M too, and how they explored our science alongside their children. We are looking forward to working with the VG&M, again, in the future”
This family fun day ran alongside LSTM’s Far eastern Prisoners of War Secret Art of Survival Exhibition, containing "documentary art" illustrating many aspects of captivity from medical ingenuity to survival.
LSTM will be taking part in another Family Fun Day at the VG&M on the 28th May 2020.
Read blog post by Lucy Wust about the importance of science communication.