Science Summer School with Prof Brian Cox

QMUL took part at the 6th Summer Science School at St Paul’s Way, a STEM event hosted by Prof Brian Cox in East London. This two day conference offers students the opportunity to interact with real scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs through a programme of hands on workshops and seminars given by the UK’s leading scientists. Prof Brian Cox open the seminar series with an inspirational and 3D visual presentation on the universe and its world and how the different systems interact with space and time.

STEM programme for the SSC event giving details of the guest speakers on Tuesday. The possibilties for a scientific career path are inspiring.

I spoke about possible bioengineering strategies to treat and repair fetal membrane defects, thereby preventing the breaking of the membranes and premature birth. I explained why it is important to understand the biology, engineering and material science of soft tissues so that the fetal membranes remain strong and healthy, and the baby is born at the right time when she is ready after 40 weeks gestation.

Tina giving a talk to an audience of academics, children, teachers, scientists, doctors and engineers.  I spoke about treatments and strategies in bioengineering to help save babies lives.

I discussed the concept of mechanotransdution and why mechanical forces can stimulate cells and keep the tissues strong and healthy. The mechanotransduction process was demonstrated by two children (both 7 years of age, from St Joseph’s in the Park) who explained that “stretching” and “compression” are important forces that help the fetal membrane cells to migrate and repair membrane tissues.

Two seven year olds from St Joseph’s in the Park (year 2) demonsrating the mechanotransduction process during my presentation.

The QMUL and GSK team ran several “bioengineering experience” workshops throughout the day with activities led by PhD students in biomedical engineering/design (Wesleigh Dawsmith), nanotechnology (Kseniya Shututminkska, Gaston Primo, Michael Keeling), biomaterials (James Taylor), pharmacology/disease (Dr Rhiannon Lowe [GSK], Eleanor Kimber [MEng student, QMUL]. Victoria Rockell helped to support all activities and spoke to students about the Biomedical Engineering programmes offered by SEMS.

Enormous thanks to the QMUL and GSK team for running the bioengineering experience. Activities included nanotechnology, biomaterials, biomedical engineering and design.

Overall, a highly inspirational event for both students and scientists – enormous thanks to the SSC organisers for inviting us to take part.

Meet the QMUL and GSK team, plus our four youngest scientists (age ranging from 2 to 11 years old) and Head of Science, Mrs Jane Elson from St Joseph’s in the Park.