Medical Engineers attend the Cheltenham Science Festival

Fourteen staff and PhD students from the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (iMBE) spent six days at The Times 2013 Cheltenham Science Festival earlier this month.

They spent time interacting with school students and the general public through a science exhibit in the Discover Zone. Visitors to the stand ranged from toddlers to pensioners, and everyone in between!

Activities were used to highlight the research on-going within the iMBE, including a ‘What’s in the Box?’ to identify different joint replacements; ‘Build a Human Knee’ to understand the anatomy of the natural knee, and two demonstrations of the soft tissues in the knee joint to show degeneration of cartilage and decellularisation of tissues.

The Build a Human Knee activity was particularly popular with the audience. Researchers developed a twice-life-sized human knee which could be taken apart and rebuilt. More than 100 Children and adults took on the time challenge to re-build the knee during the week, with the winning time being 40 seconds.

Attending the event gave the iMBE members an opportunity to explain their research to a new audience and develop their communication skills. Members of the public learned something new, as some of those that came to the stand had joint replacements and really appreciated seeing what was inside them!

The Cheltenham Science Festival is an annual event and has been running since 2002. Since 2010 attendance figures have been 30,000 or more.