Brilliant Bodies – You are what you eat!

Posted on: 19 September 2023 by Louise Colley in September 2023 posts

Two children playing a ruler drop game in the Victoria Gallery and Museum

Charlotte Dean is a third year undergraduate student in the School of Life Sciences. Here she tells us about her summer internship with the Faculty’s Public Engagement team, including running summer science clubs for children at Victoria Museum and Gallery.

During my time at University I’ve enjoyed getting involved in public engagement activities through the School of Life Sciences’ Outreach group. This summer I had the opportunity to spend five weeks with the Faculty’s Public Engagement team, learning more about what it involves and taking on a project of my own.

The Victoria Gallery and Museum runs a free to attend Summer Science Club. Children aged 8 and over have the chance to take part in fun, hands-on science activities. Four workshops are run during August, with each of them taking a different theme. This year activities have ranged from CPR to virtual reality.

My main project for the summer was to run the final workshop, held on Tuesday 29 August. It was titled ‘Brilliant Bodies’ and explored how nutrition impacts our bodies. I researched and planned four new activities in which participants earned body parts and created figures using plasticine.

The workshop began with a talk from me about nutrition and digestion. We used play food to create balanced meals with a good variety of nutrients to power our bodies.  Our inflatable gut proved to be a hit, showing how food is digested.

An inflatable gut showing how food is digested.

We then split in to smaller groups, rotating around different activities. These included a quiz about the skeleton, making origami antibodies and viruses and learning about protein structures by making hair for the figures.

The favourite activity of the day was a ruler drop exercise, learning about senses and reactions. The young people attempted to catch the dropped ruler as quickly as possible, creating a fiercely competitive leaderboard of reaction times. By the end of the afternoon, some great figures had been made and a lot of fun had been had by all.

The session was a great way to finish my placement. As well as being thoroughly enjoyable, the placement has been invaluable for helping me to develop transferrable skills that are so important for employability. I have gained in confidence and creativity as well as improving team working and communication skills. I would highly recommend get involved in Public Engagement to other students at the University.

To find out more about our Public Engagement events, please follow the Faculty Public Engagement team on @LivUniEngageHLS on Instagram and Twitter and the student Outreach Group on @uollifescienceoutreach on Instagram and @LifeSciOutreach on Twitter.