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On Wednesday 5 June, a team from the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (NDS) spent a fantastic day sharing and learning with some energetic scientists and surgeons of the future at the Cheltenham Science Festival.

Cheltenham science festival 2

Children of all ages (and some adults too) enjoyed taking part in a selection of fun hands-on activities at the NDS stall.

Cheltenham Science Festival

Very helpful staff and kind. Really enjoyed myself and hope to do it again - Visitor feedback

 

 

 

 

 

Dressing up in surgical clothing, visitors to the stall in the festival's Discover Zone were invited to step into the operating theatre and learn how to suture a banana skin to simulate surgery. The research nurses running the activity received lots of positive feedback, including 'I thought it was really cool and a great idea' and 'Very helpful staff and kind. Really enjoyed myself and hope to do it again :).'

Cheltenham Science Festival

 

I have enjoyed this game cuz I beat my brother - Visitor feedback

 

 

 

 

 

The robotic surgery simulator was also very popular. Avid video gamers were especially keen to demonstrate their skills under the expert eye of a robotic surgeon. Feedback included: 'I have enjoyed this game cuz I beat my brother' and it was 'fun', 'kushty', and 'cool'.

Cheltenham Science Festival

 

 

It was really cool seeing all the different things in your body - Visitor feedback

 

 

 

 

 

Visitors to the stall also went on a 3D learning experience to explore the circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems with fully immersive 360 videos using augmented reality t-shirts and iPads. Feedback received on the comments board included, 'It was really cool seeing all the different things in your body,' and 'I found it interesting and fun!'

An anatomy model and 3D printed models, including a kidney, liver, and paediatric chest with lungs and a heart also provided much discussion and triggered many interesting questions, such as 'How long can you live without your liver?' The answer was '12 hours'.

It wasn't only the children that thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Those who volunteered to run the activities on the stall also found the day to be lots of fun and very rewarding.

Val Parke from the NDS Finance Office said: 'Manning the human torso my latent biology studies were reignited. The students were great at asking questions with the knowledge they had accumulated.'

Lead Research Nurse Jane Nierderer commented: 'It was a blast! The school children were, as ever, curious and engaged which was brilliant.'

Please contact Louise King if you are a NDS member interested in joining the Outreach Working Group or would like to be involved with our outreach activities on an adhoc basis.