Last week saw LSTM’s Department of Parasitology led by Dr Kelly Johnston, take part in the Big Bang North West on the 10th of July at the Exhibition Centre in Liverpool.
The Big Bang North West is a celebration of science and technology, organised by All About STEM, for school children to discover the exciting and rewarding science- based careers available in their local area via fun and interactive activities. Nearly 7000 primary and secondary schoolchildren from schools across the North West had the chance to see amazing stands, shows and exhibits throughout the day and see the semi-finals of The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition. The children and school teachers had the opportunity to hold fire in their hands, fish for viruses, ride a mechanical horse and immerse themselves in virtual reality!
Dr Johnston and her team demonstrated the Department’s research into the development of new drugs against parasite infections through their interactive game Beat the Robot, which pitted the school children’s pipetting skills against the robotics used by the department. The team also had a range of parasites on display, kindly donated by LSTM’s Dagnall Laboratory.
Dr Johnston commented: “The schoolchildren were really engaged, it gave an excellent opportunity to engage with so many schools across the North West at such a large festival. The feedback from the children was great, with some students being horrified by the variety of parasites humans can become infected with!”
LSTM's Public Engagement Manager, Dr Elli Wright, added: “This is the second-time LSTM has been to the Big Bang Fair North West. It was fantastic to show the diverse spread of work at LSTM and get the message out there that LSTM is committed to providing life-saving treatments through innovation and education, and to show school children how rewarding a career in science can be.”