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Sharing Science to Strengthen Performance

25 September 2012

Photo of staff at away day

Support staff at Cardiff School of Biosciences experienced team building science based engagement tasks, developed by the Biosi Innovation and Engagement team, during the biennial away day.

The Cardiff School of Biosciences employs just over 300 staff and is recognised for its excellence in research and teaching. However, the visible output of academic and research staff is underpinned by the substantial contribution from support staff, many of whom have little or no scientific background.  During the support staff away day, which was held at the excellent facilities in the Bute Park Educational Centre , Dr Fiona Wyllie (Innovation and Engagement Officer) and Dr Karen Reed (Postdoctoral Research Associate and PR & Engagement Officer) showcased a range of science engagement activities devised to demonstrate the research undertaken within the school. The Biosi I+E team run a very proactive programme of events, including schools visits, participation in events held at Techniquest, an annual Learn about Life event for National Science and Engineering Week and a variety of hands-on workshops and research lab experiences for participants of the University-wide Step up to Health and other science engagement schemes . The away day provided an important opportunity for Biosciences staff to network, whilst also engaging in fun yet educational hands-on activities highlighting some of the research and teaching strengths from within the School of Biosciences. Participants used modelling clay to learn about cells and cancer development, they tested their short-term memory recall in an anatomy orientated teambuilding exercise and investigated factors affecting lung capacity and other bodily processes in several physiology based activities.

Mrs Sharon Burgess, Director of Administration commented “It was great to get involved in fun and educational (particularly for non-scientific people like me) activities,” while Mrs Orosia Asby, Technical Manager of the Transgenic Facility, remarked “All of the transgenic unit team had a great day. It was a good venue and the variety of activities made the day go very quickly. The best bit was networking and meeting new people, especially as we are slightly isolated from the main part of the school and have very few visitors, making this an enjoyable and useful day out of the unit. (The plasticine was a firm favourite!)”.

 The Biosi I+E team are able to run similar activities for a range of public groups including teacher training, and all informal inquires are very welcome. Please contact Fiona Wyllie (wyllie@cardiff.ac.uk) for more information.