Dr Pete Watson (The Cells in Your Body)
Dr Pete Watson shows pupils what makes up a typical cell in their body
Dr Pete Watson (RCUK Fellow) has been running a workshop as part of "The Cells in Your Body" session for the past 3 or 4 years. He illustrates the make-up of a typical cell using simple everyday objects and his workshop always finishes with a loud bang! Pete is on the "Learn About Life" organising committee and is developing additional activities and resources to engage further with the invited Primary schools. He also runs an interactive workshop called "How a drug is developed" with visiting secondary school pupils. This workshop explains what is involved in drug development - from the lab to the final product and how much this process costs. Participants have their own dish of cells to stain and microscopically examine and Pete explains how is own research fits into this.
Pupils visualise their own cheek cells and Dr Sonia Lopez de Quinto explains the different parts of these cells to them.
Two other RCUK Fellows are involved with "The Cells in Your Body" session. Firstly, Dr Sonia Lopez De Quinto shows the young visitors how to smear their own cheek cells onto a microscope slide and how to stain these cells then so they are visible under the microscope. Each pupil has their own microscope and has the chance to draw what they can see.
The other RCUK Fellow is Dr Richard Clarkson, who interactively illustrates approximately how many cells participants have in each of their hands. They can compare this to how many lego bricks and how many grains of sands could be contained in their hands. Richard is very actively involved in engagement with schools and encourages many other researchers to participate. For a full profile of Richard's engagement see BBSRC Local Coordinator Schools.
Several postdoctoral staff and postgraduate and undergraduate students also demonstrate on these 3 workshops and additional demonstrators who work in cellular biology research (or are studying a relevant degree) are welcome to participate in future events.
Pupils discover just how many cells they have in each of their hands