Kavli INsD Researchers Inspire Local Children at Second Science in the Park Event Hosted by DPAG and Biochemistry

Kavli INsD Researchers Inspire Local Children at Second Science in the Park Event Hosted by DPAG and Biochemistry


On Tuesday 25 July, more than 140 children together with around 60 parents and caregivers were treated to a thrilling variety of hands-on science activities in University Parks. ‘Science in the Park’ was run by DPAG’s Outreach and Public Engagement Working Group (OPEWG), in collaboration with the Department of Biochemistry, with 30 volunteers comprising research scientists, graduate students and professional services staff.


A photo collage from the event


The collaborative group of volunteers delivered seven hands-on activities including blood matching, microscopy, making plasticine cells, and drawing neurons. Aimed primarily at children, DPAG and Biochemistry scientists were on hand to answer questions and share fun facts. The event also gave children the opportunity to find out what it takes to be a good scientist, and even dress up as a scientist to get a real feel for it. 


Kavli Researchers Hugo and Ajantha at the event.


Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Research Leader Fellow Hugo Fernandes and Clarendon Scholar DPhil student Ajantha Abey of the Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre based in the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery put on a range of exciting neuroscience activities. 

Hugo said: "It was a lovely day in the park that provided a fantastic opportunity to tell children of all ages (and many adults!) a little bit about the human brain and the neuroscience research in our Department. Children were very curious to find out more about the structure of our brain using the model brain and were fascinated by the different visual illusions we prepared for them. Children delighted us with their artistic skills in drawing, painting and modelling neurons - turns out that neurons can be very bright and colourful! Our mirror drawing exercise was a very simple yet powerful way to highlight how Dementia patients might struggle with even the simplest of tasks - this exercise was targeted mainly for adults who really appreciated this message."

Ajantha said: "It was really fun and we were quite busy the entire day with a lot of kids, parents, and grandparents coming through, and even some general public passers by. Kids really enjoyed the visual illusions and drawing and challenging their parents in the mirror drawing exercise. They also seemed to really get into trying to put the model brain back together and were really mind blown by the blind spot test. Overall a great day, and would definitely recommend people get involved in the future. I've never done much stuff with kids before but it was really fun."

Special thanks goes to all our volunteers who made this event possible: Ajantha Abey, Ephraim Berthold, Ben Chapman, Susanna Cooper, Claudio Cortes Rodriguez, Alexa Cosma, Louise Cotterell, Kiara Delos, Hugo Fernandes, Amber Foley, Sarah Franks, Emma Hodgkins, Aaron Johnston, Valentine Lagage, Anna Lavayssière, Jess Livesey, Akansha Mehta, Amy Moores, Bethan O'Connor, Gizem Önal, Flair Paradine Cullup, Christophe Ravaud, Andia Redpath, Fiona Sargison, Sarah Sigal, Liliana Som, Chloe Stewart, Susanne Szydlowski (and her son Alvin!), Hannah Unsworth, and Tomoko Watanabe, who we also thank for the photographs. We also extend our thanks to DPAG and IDRM Facilities teams for supplying first aid kits.