CMFT researchers inspire the next generation of scientists at TeenTech event
Researchers, healthcare scientists, and representatives from
Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT)
have joined forces with other local organisations and businesses to
inspire the next generation of innovators and engineers.
Representatives from CMFT hosted exhibition stands at the third
annual TeenTech event
at The University of
Manchester's Sackville Street Building and Barnes Wallis
Building on Wednesday 27th April.
More than 300 pupils aged between 12 and 13, from 30 schools
across Greater Manchester and the North West attended the
interactive showcase, to learn more about careers in science,
engineering, and technology.
Niall Doherty, Clinical Trials Administrator at Manchester Vision Regeneration
Lab at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and the NIHR / Wellcome
Trust Manchester Clinical Research Facility, went along on the
Pupils got to wear glasses that simulated different eye
conditions which Niall and his colleagues are currently
researching, including Diabetic Retinopathy, Retinitis Pigmentosa
(RP) and Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
Students were given a brief overview of the Argus II Retinal
Prosthesis System or 'bionic eye' and the two clinical trials (RP
and AMD studies) in which this technology is being used. They
were then given the opportunity to try on a demonstration version
of the glasses that 'bionic eye' patients wear, as well as seeing a
brief video demonstrating how it works.
Niall said: "It has been great to see that students
are thinking about their future and they've shown a keen interest
in my role and the pioneering research being undertaken at
Andrew Brown, Katie Ball and Richard Clark from the
EMERGING (Emergency and Intensive Care Research) Group at
Manchester Royal Infirmary were also in attendance.
They took along a range of interactive kit for students to get
involved with including a defibrillator as part of basic life
support and an intubated manikin; an I-Stat machine to test blood
samples; thermoflash equipment to measure patient's temperature and
a UV machine to highlight bacteria on the hands and skin.
Richard said: "As well as the students enjoying the
interesting equipment we have brought with us today, it has also
been really good to engage with them about medical research and the
types of studies that we carry out. Pupils asked sensible questions
and came up with some fantastic examples of why we do research
including to improve patient care and develop healthcare for the
Pupils from Parrs Wood High School described
the team's stands as "fascinating," "fun" and "engaging."
Clinical Photography and Medical Illustration Services at CMFT,
Geraldine Thompson hosted an exhibition stand to demonstrate
photographic techniques and scientific theory behind lens media in
The Healthcare Scientist STEM Ambassador of the
Year (NHS England 2016) runner-up said: "The students I have
spoken to throughout this event have been incredibly attentive and
enthused by the whole TeenTech experience. I think it is a
fantastic concept to inspire the younger generation and help them
to make important life choices. It has also helped them to discover
career options that they may not have known even existed before
today. Many youngsters were intrigued by my medical illustration
stand and wanted to know more about the detailed and quality
imagery on display."
Students from Priestnall School in Heaton
Mersey commented that the Clinical Photography and Medical
Illustration exhibit was "interesting" and "exciting to get
TeenTech founder, Maggie Philbin said: "The
TeenTech event gives students and teachers the opportunity to try
their hand at experiments; to handle leading-edge technology and,
most importantly to spend time with the engineers, technologists
and scientists influencing their 21st century lives. It's a
powerful intervention just before students make their subject
choices, dispelling gender stereotypes and shifting perceptions of
careers that teenagers may have considered difficult, geeky or
CMFT staff have attended the Manchester event in previous years.
In 2013, Senior Technologist in Histocompatibility and
Immunogenetics, Atusa Sadegholnejat and her colleagues put on
interactive activities for youngsters to have a go at surrounding
their role in the Transplantation Laboratory.
In 2014, Senior Medical Physicist in Nuclear Medicine, Dr
Heather Williams organised a stand exploring medical imaging, using
specialist equipment and demonstrations.
TeenTech event days are
large scale regional events bringing together students from 30/50
schools across a region and over 140 scientists, technologists and
engineers for a day of challenges and experiments. We have measured
the impact of events since 2008 and know there is a real shift in
student perceptions, particularly amongst girls. Events run in 15
regions of the UK and the Republic of Ireland, each with its own
regional steering group. The event day is just part of the
initiative with schools working on projects both pre and post
Feedback from teachers and companies is overwhelmingly positive
with 98.5% schools who attended a TeenTech event in 2014 saying
they will definitely attend another. Follow on Twitter and Facebook.
- 2010 TeenTech awarded "Best Engineering Event" in Science and
Engineering Week by British Science Association and Enterprising
Britain Award for South East after being selected as the regional
winner for 2010
- 2011 TeenTech only UK recipients of a Google RISE Award to help
pilot a UK rollout.
- 2012 HRH Duke of York becomes patron of TeenTech
- 2012 Maggie Philbin &TeenTech win UKRC/WISE Best Outreach
- 2014 TeenTech receives a further Google RISE Award
- 2014 TeenTech's Maggie Philbin invited to lead UK Digital
- 2014 First report published "Digital Skills for Tomorrow's