Discovery Night 2015

'Not just teeth' – Research at School of Clinical Dentistry

Following on from last year’s success, Discovery Night was back by popular demand. Researchers from the University set up exhibits and activities in Firth Hall for the public to experience and enjoy. The School had another exciting stand with new activities and new faces too. The children participated in a range of activities, from dressing up and posing in our photo booth to creating their own cell culture snow globes.

'A picture is worth a thousand words'

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photo booth

The children were invited to pick one of six different identity words at random. The children then used props from the dressing up box to interpret the word and best represent it from their point of view. They dressed up as dentists, patients, researchers, investigators, scientists and professors before smiling to have their photo taken in the photo booth. The dressing up activity helped children to think more about what these terms mean, as well being an investigation into how these different labels are interpreted in the eye of the general public. It also acting as a good talking point about how we use a variety of techniques in our person centred research.  The children had a great time posing for the camera and the School team both enjoyed and learned from the activity as well!

dressing up

'Build a cell a home'

cell houses

Researchers and staff from the School helped the children get creative with their arts and crafts. The children had the chance to make their own cell cultures (snow globes), which demonstrated the scientific process used to create the right environment for growing cells. With the guidance, the children created the perfect home for cells by adding all the vital ingredients needed such as growth medium (water) serum (glycerine) and vitamins/amino-acids/antibiotics (glitter) to make sure that their cells (different shaped beads) were well fed and safe from harmful bacteria. They also learned about the roles of these different ingredients in cell culture and also how different cells needed different things. The activity demonstrated how scientists can grow cells in artificial environments and that these need to contain the right nutrients and conditions for the cells to develop. There were some amazingly creative cell culture snow globes produced on the night and the activity proved to be very popular with all! The School's collection of 'cuddly' cells helped to enhance this activity further and the stand staff were able to explain the features of different cells and how this helped them to perform the functions they needed to in the body.

cell explain