iMBE at the Cheltenham Science Festival

Hundreds of visitors were inspired and engaged by the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering stand at the Cheltenham Science Festival earlier this month. See how they drew a crowd.


Activities were used to highlight the research going on within the iMBE:

What’s in the box?: different artificial joint replacements, including hips, knees, spine, and elbow, were hidden in the box and visitors had to guess which joint they were for.

Tissue engineering: visitors learnt how all of the cells and DNA could be removed from human tissues leaving just the tissue structure, mainly collagen.  A large model made of wood, wool and sparkily balls was used to illustrate this.

Build a human knee:  Researchers developed a twice-life-sized human knee which could be taken apart and rebuilt.  Over 100 children and adults took on the time challenge to re-build the knee. 

Visitors to the stand ranged from toddlers to pensioners and everyone in between.  All learned something new, and some of those that came to the stand had joint replacements and really appreciated seeing what was inside them!  Some visitors also approached the stand to discuss undergraduate and postgraduate opportunities at Leeds, in both Engineering and Biological Sciences.

The Cheltenham Science Festival attracts 30,000 or more visitors each year, and attending the event gave the iMBE members an opportunity to explain their research to a new audience and develop their communication skills.  The fourteen staff and PhD students who manned the stand also had time off to look around the Festival and engage with students and staff from other disciplines who they would not meet at subject-specific conferences.

Image: Dr Sarah Junaid and Cheryl Harris explaining 'How to Build a Knee'

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