Social Responsibility

Open Labs: Behind the Scenes of Manchester Science

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 12:57:00 BST

At the end of July, as part of the Science in the City Festival, the University held ‘Open Labs: Behind the Scenes of Manchester Science’, a unique opportunity for members of the public to experience what goes on in science labs in each of the three Faculties across the whole University.

Taking place over two days, delegates who were attending the EuroScience Open Forum conference, their families and our local community were welcomed to our working laboratories to showcase some of the world leading research we are currently undertaking. Uptake was phenomenal with over 1,100 people attending more than 90 tours across 26 different labs and buildings, with resoundingly positive engagement on social media. Check out the Open Labs Storify for a flavour of what took place

Attendees could get involved with a variety of different activities including undergoing a full body scan, seeing what happens when lightening hits a model plane, flying a quadcopter drone, taking a walk through inflammation and experiencing an interactive journey through drug development, developing their own glacier to monitor climate change and seeing what goes on in the fly, plant science and bio-imaging facilities. Finally they could visit St Mary’s Hospital to hear more about the 100,000 genome project.

Manchester Museum was also a hive activity providing a meeting point for tours as well as hosting hands on science activities for all ages, including making your own parasite, printing a 3D Pokémon and playing games with stem cells.

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with visitors reporting that they found the tours really interesting and enjoyable. It is intended that there will be more activities like this in the future, providing opportunities for our local community to see more of what takes place behind the scenes at the University. Watch this space!

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