Outreach and Engagement Activities
Over the last few years researchers from the University of Manchester have taken over stands at the Trafford Centre to talk to members of the general public about science and engineering.
This Science Extravaganza event, or #ScienceX, has included a number of interactive stands.
As part of the Faculty of Science and Engineering’s event to engage non-traditional audiences (#ScienceX) social science researchers from the SYNBIOCHEM team engaged shoppers at the Trafford Centre with synthetic biology research on menthol production.
Participants interacted with a range of menthol-containing products and left comments on how they would feel about biotechnology derived ingredients. The opinions and queries received will be used as part of the MIB’s responsible research and innovation initiative to involve the public in the scientific development process.
British Science Week Events
Using interactive demonstrations of fragrance compounds, visitors to the Universities annual British Science Week fairs have explored the potential of synthetic biology approaches to provide green and sustainable chemical manufacture. >1000 students, ages 9 – 14, visit the event each year.
Members of SYNBIOCHEM and the wider MIB have taken their science to a number of local supplementary language schools organised in partnership with Multilingual Manchester. At the Huaxia Mandarin School 4 researchers (Dr. Cunyu Yan, Dr. Jane Kwok, Dr. Nick Weise and Kun Huang) introduced students to the chemistry of enzymes and sugars in Mandarin Chinese. The session, included short talks from each of the Mandarin-speaking scientists on their research, enzyme demonstrations and an arts-and-crafts style glycan building.
Our researchers regularly visit local schools and colleges – Adrian Jervis, our Senior Experimental Officer, who provides pathway assembly expertise as part of our “Build” team recently visited Japan and spent a day at the Hiroo Gakuen Junior and High school.
MIB OPEN DAYS
In recent years the MIB has opened its doors to >1000 A’ level students, when the SYNBIOCHEM Centre provided interactive stands (RRI menthol; Flavours and Fragrances; Enzyme pathway discovery), SynBio talks and a laboratory demonstrations.
FEEDBACK FROM OUR OUTREACH STANDS HAS SURPRISED US – SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY MAY BE MORE EASILY ACCEPTED IN THE FIELD OF CHEMICALS PRODUCTION THAN ANTICIPATED!
To find out more about our Outreach and Engagement activities, please contact Nicholas Weise, Public Engagement Programme Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to Nick Weise on his recent Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy award in recognition of his on campus and distance learning course design and support of researchers at the University of Manchester.
Nick also received an award from the Inclusion and Diversity fund of the Royal Society of Chemistry to support his community engagement project in collaboration with Multilingual Manchester.