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Public Engagement at Manchester

Celebrating the biological sciences for British Science Week

As part of British Science Week, 550 pupils and their teachers from schools throughout Greater Manchester were invited to take in Bio-Discovery Day. Hosted by The University of Manchester and Manchester Museum, the event featured 50 researchers showcasing the wonder of the biological sciences and engaging young people aged 11-14 years old.

Featuring 26 research and teaching stands, school pupils had the opportunity to participate in virtual reality tours, get hands on with 3D printed body parts, build human cells and explore the brains of different animals. Professor Sheena Cruickshank and Professor David Brough also delivered talks to highlight and inform pupils about career pathways in the biological sciences. School pupils also had the opportunity to chat with scientists about the biomedical and biological sciences and their area of expertise.

We wanted the children to get experience of the different subjects that they can study. What they have experienced at Bio-Discovery Day is the complete variety of biology and a lot of things that they would never have thought about before today.” – Mrs A. Handley, Curriculum Leader in Science at Saddleworth School

Organised by Dr Katherine Hinchliffe and Dr Shazia Chaudhry, Bio-Discovery Day aimed to encourage enthusiasm in science in our local school pupils as well as giving their final-year students the opportunity to gain experience in public engagement activities.

Susannah Poole, a final year undergraduate student said of the experience, “This is the first time that I have participated in a public engagement activity, I have gained a lot of valuable insight into how people react and have learnt to not be discouraged if people aren’t interested in what you are saying. When planning future activities, I would focus on making activities more interactive as well as simplifying the language that I use – generally focusing on less science and more fun!

The event gave school pupils the opportunity to see what researchers do at the University as well as what is involved with being a scientist. By hosting the event at the Museum, Bio-Discovery Day also encouraged a sense of fun and discovery, with the exhibits and collections offering an inspirational exploration of science and culture.

Esme Ward, the Director of Manchester Museum commented that “Manchester Museum was alive and kicking… thanks to everyone for a brilliant day. University museums at their best!

Stanley’s Big Day Out – Sat 25 May – 10am-4pm, Manchester Museum

Stanley’s Big Day Out has been inspired by Stanley, aged 7 who loves dinosaurs. Stanley has a rare form of muscular dystrophy. Manchester Museum, home to Stan the T-Rex, has teamed up with Muscular Dystrophy UK to celebrate Stanley’s love of dinosaurs and to raise awareness about muscular dystrophy.

Come along dressed as your favourite dinosaur and get involved in dinosaur arts and crafts, a dinosaur treasure hunt, object handling and lots more.

Join us in our attempt to break the world record for having the most Stanleys gathering all in one place at one time.

If you are called Stan or Stanley and would like to take part in the World Record attempt, register your interest at https://www.musculardystrophyuk.org/events/stanleys-big-day-out/

If you’re not called Stan or Stanley, do come along and join in the free family fun!

The Muscular Dystrophy UK team will be on hand to answer any questions and share how people can get involved with the charity.

Posted on behalf of Victoria Grant, Family Programme Coordinator – Manchester Museum Twitter @MMFamilies

Demonstrator Vacancies at Manchester Museum: Paid Positions for PhD Students

Manchester Museum is looking to recruit PhD students to deliver educational sessions for their Secondary (11-16 year olds) and Post-16 (16-18 year olds) programmes. The aim is to utilise PhD student’s expert knowledge to enrich the student experience for our formal school and college visitors and provide PhD students with the confidence and training to share their research in a wider forum.

This will be a paid position for the delivery of education sessions (which includes set-up and clear-away time where applicable) as they are booked by schools and colleges. Delivery of sessions will be on a casual basis depending on demand. Demonstrators will receive full training in communication, facilitation (incl. classroom management) and session-specific skills before being requested to deliver any sessions. Further details of roles, responsibilities and payment will be given on enquiry.

Applicants should:

  • Be able to speak enthusiastically about their subject
  • Be able to communicate complex concepts in an approachable and engaging manner
  • Be interested in inspiring pupils to explore further study
  • Have excellent communication skills, preferably with experience of presenting to secondary or college students
  • Be organised, self-motivated, reliable and keen to work with groups of up to 30 secondary or A-level students
  • Be flexible and able to commit to dates up to one month in advance
  • Have experience in conservation (but not essential)
  • Have some teaching experience (not essential)

Applicants for the Manchester Museum Science Programme should:

  • Be studying a Science subject at PhD level
  • Have a strong subject and practical knowledge in one or more of the following areas: PCR techniques, DNA, molecular biology, biodiversity, or conservation (which would be preferable) a similar subject area
  • Have a passion for museum collections or be excited to work with them

What you will get in return

  • Flexible working hours around your studies to suit you
  • Excellent rates of pay
  • Fantastic public engagement and teaching experience
  • An official letter of recommendation/reference from the museum
  • Skills development – A chance to develop transferable CV skills such as team work and decision making to help with career development

Please apply by completing the online application form via this link the application process is on a rolling basis. If you are unsure whether you are eligible for one of the above role please contact Barinur Rashid, Secondary and Post-16 Co-ordinator (Science):
Email: Barinur.rashid@manchester.ac.uk Tel: 0161 306 1764

Call For Action – Heritage Futures

Manchester Museum is looking to support new programmes, projects or events that respond to its new Heritage Futures exhibition and are inviting community groups, creative practitioners and researchers to put forward their ideas.

They are interested in ideas that are original, ambitious in scale, or would allow you to try something new, and are keen to support people or groups who might not have delivered events before. Manchester Museum are looking to support applications that meet the following criteria:

  • Respond to any of the four Heritage Futures themes
  • Reflect their values and ambition to become the UK’s most caring, imaginative and accessible museum
  • Contribute to their vision to build a sustainable future and understanding between cultures

What Manchester Museum are offering:

  • A simple application process with minimal paper work and a speedy response
  • The option to apply for a small grant of up to £1,000 to support the development and delivery of your idea
  • Support from a member of the team to help you to work on your idea and manage the financial side of things

For further information and to apply, visit: https://mmhellofuture.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/a-call-to-action/

We are running a number of Heritage Studio Information Sessions at Manchester Museum. Please feel free to drop by or email anna.bunney@manchester.ac.uk to find out more:

  • Wednesday 13 February: 3-4pm
  • Monday 18 February: 11am-12noon
  • Saturday 9 March: 11am-2pm

Anna Bunney | Engagement Manager (Part-Time) | Manchester Museum | The University of Manchester