Public engagement and outreach activities

Public engagement and outreach activities are one way many of our students keep the public informed about their research, as well as to inspire future scientists and help encourage people to undertake further education within the STEM subject areas.

Below are are just a few examples of what our students have been up to.

Event Activity
Bristol Bright Night
  • presented research alongside poetry
  • Science Cocktails stall – explaining the science behind cocktails
Bath Taps into Science
  • 'Fish, not just pets'
Festival of Nature
  • using a 'Nature Roulette' to talk about animal coloration
  • 'Discover the underground world of roots'
Soapbox Science
  • how memory is represented in the brain (including an online interview)
  • fungal research
Bristol Neuroscience Festival (Brain Awareness Week)
  •  conduction of electrical impulses along the ulnar nerve
Science in the Square
  • 'bone zone' explaining features of skeletons and wings to the general public
The Science of Christmas
  • animals and winter camouflage
Bristol Balloon Fiesta
  • explaining protein folding with origami shapes
Pint of Science
  • 'Stimulating the Natural World'
  • 'Dark side of protein science'
  • 'From galaxies of stars to a new universe of proteins'
Event, location Activity
NEC Big Bang Fair, Birmingham
  • multiple stations where the public could learn the stages of obtaining a structure (in collaboration with Diamond Light Source)
Green Man Festival, Wales
  • 'Plugging into a greener environment' – games and demonstrations which highlight the importance of global food security
  • complexity of the cellular environment illustrated by a puppet show
Cheltenham Science Festival
  • Makershack – Code a robot to read a bedtime story, discover forever re-moldable thermoplastics, enter the Slime Factory to make your very own slime
Secret Garden Party (Guerilla Science)
  • talked to members of the public about Drosophila research
Manchester Science Festival
  • stand explaining hormone analysis
The Free Edinburgh Festival Fringe Show
  • science stand-up on the subject of synthetic biology
Royal Society Summer Exhibition, London
  • 'the real beef about meat' – discussing sustainability of grazing systems
Fieldview Festival, Bristol
  • awareness of the role of bees in our society and an increased interest in conservation
Rock Girl group visit, South Africa
  • to inspire female students to remain in school and become economically independent
Local farmers, Tanzania
  • advising local Tanzanian and Masai livestock producers on animal health, husbandry and applicable management techniques to improve animal productivity
Scientists Says Blog
  • articles aimed at introducing exciting science-related topics to the public
Institute of Physics
  • commissioned by the Institute of Physics to write a poem about the importance of LGBT role models
Made in Bristol TV
  • interview on work on cognitive bias in chickens
BBC Countryfile
  • interview proving how important ancient orchards are for some of our rarest bee species
Speakeeze Podcast
  • 'Positive Bees with Scottish Accents Exercise your Brain'
Chester Zoo
  • designed illustrations to raise funding for research
BBC Radio Bristol
  • radio and video interview about mason bees
Cats Protection Clinic magazine
  • wrote an article in a magazine about the disease they are researching which is circulated to veterinary professionals
Co-founded a blog
  • to discuss ecological themes and questions in a broad context
I'm a Scientist: Get me out of here
  • answering questions from school children about food security, nutrition and general scientific research

Many of our students are STEM Ambassadors across the South West.

Sutton Trust Summer School  
GCSE and 6th form students, Falmouth
  • talked about their career path, how to go from undergraduate-postgraduate study and their research
Bristol Brunel Academy
  • workshop of activities and short talks about neuroscience
PERFORM – Science busking sessions
  • secondary school pupils were encouraged to make 'busks' (science performances) about mitochondria
World Access to Higher Education Day, Dagenham
  • to inspire students to consider university (included a mentorship scheme)
University of Leeds, University of Glasgow
  • promote research to undergraduate and postgraduate students and provide an insight into their career journey
Mullion School, Cornwall
  • workshop on animal camouflage – getting children to play citizen science games on crab and moth camouflage