MRC Elsie Widdowson Laboratory

MRC Elsie Widdowson Laboratory staff take part in the 2017 Cambridge Science Festival

MRC EWL staff had a successful day running a stand at the Cambridge Science Festival on Saturday 18th March 2017 in the Guildhall, Cambridge.

Staff and students developed new resources and activities to bring to life MRC EWL’s work with stable isotopes. The theme was ‘stable isotope detectives’. Activities were aimed at both younger and older children (and adults too). Quizzes, puzzles, stickers, colouring and craft activities were linked together with a detective theme to explore how stable isotopes are used in nutrition science. Our detective team included: Elise Orford, Priya Singh, Kevin Donkers, Sara Wassell, Michelle Venables, Kerry Jones, Sarah Meadows and students Sarah Kefyalew and Tabitha Hawes.

Making its debut on our stand was the MRC colouring book, a resource developed in collaboration with MRC Cambridge scientists to help explore the variety of MRC funded work that takes place in Cambridge. The colouring book included Illustrations from MRC EWL highlighting our work with stable isotopes and the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey.

There were very positive comments from people who attended:

It was really brilliant; well-conceived, professionally presented, lots of interest from children and from parents.”

One of our MRC EWL team, Elise Orford, who helped develop the activities and run the stand on the day said:

It was a fantastic opportunity to share some of the work we do using stable isotopes at MRC EWL. It was great to see so many people engaging in the activities, including guessing who had the highest energy expenditure – and seeing their surprise at the astronaut’s value! I’m looking forward to participating at the next festival.

We’re planning on re-running our stable isotope detective activities at upcoming public engagement events.