Stem Cells ‘R’ Us!
The 2011 Cambridge Science Festival ran from the 14-27 March 2011 with the theme of 'Science for Life'. The aim of the festival was to celebrate ways in which science, technology, engineering and mathematics change our lives.
In order to deliver some key messages about stem cell research, staff from the Institute put on a fantastic exhibition. The expert team arranged games and activities and answered questions from visitors - 'Stem Cells ‘R’ Us' was in full flow for the exciting and busy event!
Activities for all ages
Colouring sheets and The Stem Cell board game were fun for younger children, where they could see how different types of cells look, and race to win the game whilst learning about cellular differentiation.
Learning how the different cells that make up the body have functional differences meant 8-13 year old visitors could be scientists and conduct an 'experiment’ with one of our experts. Our young scientists’ experiments were:
- Under the Microscope: seeing how stem cells can turn into any type of cell.
- Drug Screen on Cells: a colour change experiment to illustrate that cells derived from stem cells can be used to assess whether new drugs work and whether they are toxic.
- 'Easter Egg’ Cell Sorter: by using coloured, wrapped, small Easter eggs, the scientists could demonstrate that cells are different and we are able identify them and sort them in a lab based on these differences.
Older children and adults were able to view a short film and see a slide show of cell images so they could learn how stem cells could be used in cell replacement therapies to treat human disease. There was plenty of opportunity to ask questions and learn more from our knowledgeable staff.