It is a privilage to be able to communicate my ongoing work to young persons. To this end, I am developing 1 hour lectures aimed at 11-19 year olds.JOIN US IN MANCHESTER SCIENCE FESTIVAL ON 25 October 2014 (Saturday)!!
Proposed outreach methodology, training and work plan: Outreach will be achieved by: a) exhibiting in a national science festival, “Arte e Scienza”, Bologna; b) outreach section on the applicant’s home page; c) exploitation of social media for outreach activities; For the national science festival outreach, the applicant will improve his existing exhibit “A Heart To Heart Talk” targeted at 6-18 year old pupils. Organisers of the science festival will be approached for inclusion of the exhibit in their program. The messages of the exhibit are: a) biomedical research is a fascinating art; b) modern research is ethical in its quest for improving quality of life. The following activities are included in the exhibit:
1. A large heart model jigsaw puzzle (age 6-9 years) demonstrates heart structure. Pupils reconstruct the heart and write the names on a pictorial form. They win a prize (toy heart, stickers) and their form for school show and tell.
2. In the hands-on demonstration, pupils (12-18 years) are explained the heart activation and ECG. QRS, P and T waves in the ECG are indicated. Volunteer pupils then use an oximeter attached to a large screen to record their ECG. To add excitement, pupils are asked to briskly walk around the exhibition area and ECG printout before and after exercise are provided. Supporting running commentary, animations, and posters provide overall information.
3. In the next demonstration, pupils (10-18 years) are shown hearts obtained from the local butcher. A video explains how heart function is studied in the laboratory and the purpose of animal experimentation. A team member then dissects a heart and explains the various chambers of the heart and their function. As in the past, this activity is expected to generate a large amount of curiosity and attract a spectrum of inquisitive questions.
4. In the computer based experiment, all pupils are explained the cause of heart attacks, i.e. spiral waves. A simulation shows the cell excitation, and a spiral wave along with a running commentary. The pupils are explained that cardiac drugs affect components of cardiac cells, and are demonstrated by altering parameters in the simulation. The pupils are encouraged to create pictorial or other art based on the exhibit.
5. Poster display includes: a) heart function; b) advances in cardiac research; c) cardiac diseases, causes, and diagnosis; d) the importance of animal experimentation and modern ethics; e) computational cardiology and its complementary nature to experimentation; f) careers in biomedical research. The posters will include information from supporting funding agencies, i.e. Physiological Society, and British Heart Foundation. At the end, pupils, parents and teachers provide feedback. The exhibit will be refined to high standards suitable for a national exhibition.