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During British Science Week, members of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences’ Outreach Working Group ran a fun and educational science session in an Oxfordshire primary school.

Jane Niederer (Lead Research Nurse for the Surgical Research Team), Shelagh Lovell (Research Nurse), Jo Cook (Clinical Research Coordinator), Aimi Hewitt (UK TAVI Clinical Data Manager) and Louise King (Communications and Public Engagement Officer) set up four hands-on science stations for children aged 7 to 11 years at Freeland Primary School. 

As the pupils rotated in groups around each station, they learnt about human anatomy and what it is like to be in the operating theatre. All the children enjoyed dressing up in surgical clothing and sewing up banana skins to simulate surgery. The qualified nurses within the team demonstrated how to do this using a paediatric suture arm (pictured above).

The augmented reality t-shirts in which the children went on a 3D learning experience to explore the circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems with fully immersive 360 videos, were also a hit. An anatomy model activity and 3D printed models, including a kidney, liver, and paediatric chest with lungs and a heart provided further discussion and insight into the organs and their functions.

The session ended with a body parts quiz with prizes for everyone and the children then had an opportunity to share with the team what they liked and what they had learnt. Feedback included, 'I liked being a surgeon and saving the banana's life', 'I liked all the activities', 'I learnt how many times your heart beats in your life', and 'I liked the t-shirts and tablets. We got to see inside the lungs'.

The school received many positive comments from the children, staff and parents. The team look forward to running more outreach sessions in the future.

View photos from the Science Day on Freeland Primary School's website.

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.

The outreach team

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