Newport’s children welcomed to Cardiff University's School of Pharmacy

15 January 2018

Dr Emma Kidd introducing school children to the Brain Games Dome
Cardiff School of Pharmacy welcomes 400 primary school children as part of School Science Club.

Nearly 400 children from eight primary schools across Newport have been welcomed to Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy as part of School Science Club.

Run by Dr. James Blaxland, the initiative aims to support Key Stage 2 teachers in developing children’s’ understanding of science, and ultimately to inspire them so that they consider pursuing science subjects through higher education.

The event was the culmination of a three month project by Dr. Blaxland where he delivered science lessons in eight schools – Gaer Primary, Pill Primary, Clytha, Maesglas, Cwmbran Primary, Tredegar Park, St. Woolos and Glasllwch.  Whilst there he introduced curriculum-enriching lessons in neurology and microbiology for the children through lectures and fun experiments. The project was part-funded by the Waterloo foundation and will hopefully pave the way for the University to reach out to local schools in the future.

During their time at the School of Pharmacy, Year 6 children took part in a series of fun activities before visiting the Vernon Lloyd Lecture Theatre for presentations on science from some of the School’s pharmacologists.

When asked about what the programme meant to the School of Pharmacy, Head of School Professor Mark Gumbleton said, ““Making science appealing and relevant to school children within a university environment only helps stimulate their aspirations and belief that a university education is for them, no matter what their background. As a School it has been a privilege to have hosted their experience.”

The first activity was Brain Games, where the children got to learn about the brain by solving clues found inside the custom-built bouncy Brain Dome. They also helped rebuild brains using puzzles, and played on the University’s Stroop mats, where they call out the name of the colours under their feet that do not correspond to the spelled out letters.

In Blast a Biofilm the children learnt the importance of brushing teeth through a demonstration using water pistols to blast plaque from model teeth. They also learned about microorganisms using cuddly toys.

Prior to the visit, the primary school pupils had been working on science posters, which were judged by the School of Pharmacy scientists. At the conclusion of the visit, the children were presented with prizes for their posters.

Dr. Blaxland said, “The event shows the dedication between the Cardiff University scientists and primary school teachers to help these children achieve their full potential. Increasing aspirations for our next generation to pursue science careers or increase their confidence to show them that anything is possible.”