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UAR makes a Big Bang

25 March 2011

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Category: Schools education

rat–every–breath.jpgUAR teamed up with the Y Touring Company this month for a series of workshops about the use of animals in research at this year's Big Bang Science Fair held at London's Excel Centre.

More than 100 young people from around the UK took part in the sessions which were based on the Y Touring Every Breath drama for schools about asthma. There was lots of intense discussion and a lot of fun too, as the young people were introduced to new ways of approaching the subject of animal research, from writing mini-plays to body sculpting.

UAR's key role in this workshop was to help the students understand why we use animals in research and to try to explain any misconceptions they bought with them. We guided the students through some of the ethical issues that this subject inevitably brings up. The Y Touring staff got the students to talk and act out their emotions when they hear words such as 'scientist', 'protestor' or 'life-saving treatment'. Unlike a traditional 'speech then Q&A' everyone's voice was heard and added to the discussion.

The Big Bang attracts all the big hitters from UK science, from both research and industry. The participants range from the presenters of TV shows such as Bang goes the Theory, engineers from Sellafield and scientists from the National Institute for Medical Research. And of course, the students – of all ages – who swarmed through the Excel, hands and minds eager to engage.

We at UAR learned a lot from taking part and will be developing our ideas over the summer term as we pilot a new workshop for schools on medicines discovery and animal research.

If you know any schools or teachers who would like to help us with this trial run, please get in touch through this website.

 

For more about asthma research see our page here.