Professor Fluffy brings the world of medicine to life for Sheffield primary school children

Primary school pupils from across the county visited the University of Sheffield to learn about medicine and facts about the human body with the help of Professor Fluffy.

Professor Fluffy and a studentChildren from Shortbrook Community Primary School, Holy Cross Deanery C of E Primary School and Birley Community Primary School took part in the visits which saw Year 5 pupils meet cuddly toy academic, Professor Fluffy.

The children were provided with white coats and clipboards and split into different themed groups; Lucky Lungs, Cool Kidneys, Super Stomachs, Brilliant Brains and Healthy Hearts. They then took part in a range of activities which included the Torso Challenge in which pupils tried to fit organs correctly into a torso model, whilst looking at the functions of the organs, and the Inside Out Body Tunic activity where one child wore a special tunic and other children took it in turns to attach Velcro body parts in the correct position.

AIshwar Koppu, aged 10, from Birley Community Primary School, said: "I enjoyed putting the skeleton together, because it was hard work but we learned a lot. We also found out a lot about our bodies and how they work. I would like to come to the University of Sheffield when I am older and learn about biology and play lots of sports too. One of the things I learned today was that if you spread out your intestines they would cover a whole tennis court."
Professor Fluffy is the guide to a project which aims to raise awareness of further and higher education, raise aspirations and self-esteem. It aims to teach children how education can improve career and life opportunities and fosters an understanding of the concept of choice.

Kira Round, also aged 10, from Birley Community Primary School, added: “My favourite part of the day was learning lots of interesting facts about the human body, how it works, moves and reacts. Kim Mullins, the Students’ Ambassador who looked after us all day, told us that the gluteus maximus muscle is the biggest muscle in your body and it is in your bum. The other fact I learned was that in your whole life you can produce two Olympic size swimming pools full of saliva.”

The activities were facilitated by Student Ambassadors from the University's Medical School. The pupils learnt about the harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs on the body from the Ambassadors and also had the chance to interview them to find out about life at the University. During the lunch break the pupils dressed up in a cap and gown for a traditional graduation photograph, and were given a guided tour of the campus.

Caroline Knight, Outreach Officer at the University of Sheffield, said: “The aim of Professor Fluffy’s Medical Adventure is to introduce the idea of a learning journey so that, from a young age, children can start thinking about their future and what they want to achieve. The activities are designed to give the children a taste of university life and help them understand that higher education could be a choice for them.

“By offering a fun-packed activity programme, a tour around the University and introducing them to role models, we hope to inspire the children and encourage them to think about their dreams and how they can achieve them. We also wanted to show the children that university and education is not all about subjects that you study in school; it can also be about your hobbies: music, drama, dance or sports. Professor Fluffy has been a real success again this year, building the children’s self esteem and sparking their enthusiasm for further learning.”

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is fully committed to encouraging young children to achieve their full potential, irrespective of their backgrounds. The University’s Outreach Team has a long history of working with schools, colleges and community groups to widen participation to Higher Education and wants to make a real difference to the lives of people in our region. As a result, much of the work the team does targets schools and colleges in South Yorkshire and the neighbouring areas to deliver a broad programme of centrally managed pre-entry activity, working with a vast age range of students, from Year 5 upwards. The Professor Fluffy Medical Adventure is part of this programme and aims to help raise awareness of Higher Education and what it can offer in terms of future life and career choices.

Contact

For further information please contact:

Paul Mannion
Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 2229851
P.F.Mannion@sheffield.ac.uk