CITER's first time to exhibit at the Green Man Festival 2018
20 August 2018
The Green Man Festival is an independent annual music and arts festival which has been running since 2003 and takes place in Crickhowell, Powys, Wales. This year the four day festival took place between 16 – 19 August 2018. The festival itself has a family friendly vibe as well as attracting music goers.
There are ten areas to explore with a full itinerary embracing science, live comedy, literature, film, music, performing and visual arts. Cardiff University has had a presence at the festival for many years and is part of the festival’s interactive science offer which is situated in the "Einstein’s Garden" area. This year CITER had a presence in this area and was the first time to deliver our scientific outreach activites in a festival environment. Six members volunteered over the four days including Dr Sue Peirce, Dr Siân Morgan, Elena Koudouna, Kiranjit Bains, Iestyn Jones and Grace McDermott; with special thanks to Dr Sue Peirce who was there for the full duration and to set up.
Our marquee offered a selection of fun, scientific and interactive activities to capture the vistor's imaginations and teach them about the wonders of tissue engineering and repair. The four outreach activities included; “blast-a-biofilm” relating to microbes and bacteria, bones and organs, blood and cells and the launch of a new activity which is virtual rehabilitation games capturing the tiniest movement in the body.
It was set in beautiful surroundings and the weather over the four days was luckily dry and not too hot - almost perfect weather conditions! and we had a great reaction from adults and children alike to our activities. Ordinarily the activities are delivered to one age group in a well controlled environment with groups of children under the supervision of a volunteer and teacher therefore we had to adapt the activities and delivery to suit our visitors which encompassed all ages and levels of knowledge.
Our organ tunics which are used to demonstrate organ placement to the user proved to be very popular, especially to get people engaged initially. Also the “guess how big game” in relation to the weight of a child's brain using vegetable and fruit props stimulated conversation between groups (several people tried to weigh their own heads with their hands). Our new virtual rehabilitation game was popular and the adults enjoyed this as much as the children albeit the movements were challenging to win the points! The children enjoyed the hands on activity of creating cells models using modelling clay and many wonderful creations were made and taken away.
Over the weekend we were given control of the @iamcardiffuni Twitter account. Depsite poor signal we gave an overview of our stand and Einsteins Garden. As this was our first time to demonstrate in such an environment there were lots of lessons learned. We really enjoyed being part of this and hope to return to the Green Man Festival next year and teach even more adults and children about the wonders of tissue repair (and hope we will be again situated next to the tea and homemade cake pavillion!).
A huge thank you to our six volunteers. The success of our events rely on our volunteers, if you are a STEM Ambassador and interested in volunteering in 2018/19 public events and school visits please contact: