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Outreach and public engagement are important parts of the AIMS project. From school visits to postgraduate courses, and through science fairs and the media, we aim to bring the University closer to the wider community. The main ways in which we are bringing science to the public is through the use of a Mobile Teaching Unit and University based laboratory workshops.
The laboratory workshops enable groups of up to 40 students (Year 10 and above) to experience working and learning in university facilities that are usually reserved for undergraduate students. Students have the opportunity to visit the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology teaching laboratories and explore human biology through guided experimental workshops. Through these workshops and working alongside university students and staff we hope to inspire the next generation of medical scientists by providing access to state of the art teaching facilities including our Human Simulators and the Virtual Microscope.
To arrange a visit to the University laboratories please contact the AIMS administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org). To help you plan your visit, you can find the answers to some frequently asked questions below.
We host visits from individual schools and colleges that enable local school pupils to take part in practical activities and mini lectures in our Physiology and Histology teaching laboratories and the Human Simulator Teaching Suites. These workshops can help enrich school practical work and can be tailored to fit the age range and abilities of the students. We can work to various timetabling options and the workshops offer a taster to students of what it is like to study science at university. School groups of up to 40 students at a time can visit for single one hour workshops, half or whole day workshops which can include a number of the options below. We offer a range of different teaching workshops that can be tailored to suite your requirements.Feedback from recent school laboratory visits:
For details of previous school laboratory visits please visit the news page.
For details of previous events please visit our news page.
Each laboratory workshop can accommodate up to 40 students and runs for 1 hour. A timetable for a whole day, half day or single workshops can be arranged depending on requirements. All the workshops allow students to work in small groups to use physiological equipment to make recordings from each other under the supervision of University academic teaching staff. Students are provided with worksheets to fill in during their visit and will take back to school recordings made during the workshops for further analysis.
All workshops are suitable for Key Stages 4 and 5.
Working in the University Physiology laboratory, students have the opportunity to understanding and investigate the electrical activity underlying cardiac contraction and what factors affect heart rate. Students will work in groups of 2 or 3 and develop their ICT skills whilst using ECG data-handling software to produce an ECG that can be taken away. Students will be encouraged to think scientifically in relation to experimental design and analysis. The effects of exercise and the use of ECG recordings in medicine will be explained. Further information on Human electrocardiography (pdf 232.7 Kb) is available to download.
This workshop investigates the physiology of the respiratory system through a series of experiments to measure lung volumes and sampling expired air. Using physiological equipment each student will record and be able to take away a trace of their vital capacity and forced expiratory volume. Pulse oximeters are used to measure oxygen saturation and gas analysers will measure the composition and differences in inspired and expired air. Further information on Respiratory physiology (pdf 251.2 Kb) is available to download.
Students can explore the relationship between nerves, the neuromuscular junction and muscle contraction in this workshop by using physiological recording equipment to record muscle contraction. Working in pairs students will apply a stimulating electrode to the skin overlying a peripheral nerve and record the muscle response. EMG traces are explained and students will be taught to interpret them to aid in the calculation of speed of nervous transmission. Further information on Neurophysiology (pdf 101 Kb) is available to download.
Our two state-of-the-art Human Simulators are a popular feature of our schools laboratory workshops. In our state of the art simulation suites within the AIMS Centre, workshops can be run for up to 20 students at a time giving students a unique experience of exploring physiology using simulation. Using the simulators students can test human physiology to the extremes, including the effects of high altitude and breathing different gas mixtures. Students can also learn about the effects drugs and how physiology is altered in disease states. Visits to the simulators can complement a visit to the laboratory or can be run as stand alone workshops. Further information on the Human Simulator (pdf 566 Kb) is available to download.
To visit our Human Simulators as a stand-alone workshop or integrated with the laboratory workshops please contact us by email (email@example.com).
Students are invited to take part in a histology class with a difference. Using an online customised digital microscopy system, students can gain an introduction to the study of histology using the latest technology. Alongside traditional light microscopes students can learn about the cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems using the Virtual Microscope which allows navigation around histological slides online. A workshop using the Virtual Microscope can compliment a practical workshop in the laboratory by allowing students to explore human biology on both a cellular and whole body level. Further information on the Virtual Microscope (pdf 118.3 Kb) is available to download.
For your students to experience the Virtual Microscope as a stand-alone workshop or integrated with the laboratory workshops please contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
School groups of up to 40 students at a time can visit for single one hour workshops, half or whole day workshops which can include a number of the options listed above.
For details of previous school laboratory visits please visit our news page.
|09.30||Students arrive at Department of Physiology and Pharmacology|
|09.45 - 10.45||Workshop 1: 20 students Physiology Laboratory: Human Electrocardiography|
|10.45 - 11.45||Workshop 2: 20 students Human Simulator workshop|
|11.45 - 12.45||Workshop 3: 20 students Virtual Microscope: Histology of the cardiovascular and nervous systems workshop|
|12.45 - 13.30||Break|
|13.30 - 14.30||Workshop 4: 20 students Physiology Laboratory: Neurophysiology|
|14.30||Return to school|
The cost of bringing your students to the University laboratories is variable depending on your requirements and length of your visit. Unfortunately we are unable to arrange transport to the University but can advise suitable drop-off and collection points for minibuses and coaches. The price of workshops does not include refreshments or lunch although these can be included for an additional cost. Alternatively we can provide an area of students to eat their own lunches on site.
For further information about booking laboratory workshops including availability and prices, please contact us by email email@example.com.
The AIMS Centre is also involved in a number of other outreach activities. If you are interested in getting involved in any of these please get in touch.
These summer schools organised through the Widening Participation Office, allow students who are studying at schools both locally and nationally the opportunity to experience life at university. During their visit to the AIMS Centre students attend hands-on practical workshops both in the laboratory and with our Human Simulators. These visits are always very lively and enjoyed by all.
For further information on Widening Participation summer schools please visit the Widening Participation office website.
As part of the CETL project, we have invested in a 'Mobile Teaching Unit' - a HGV lorry that expands into a laboratory equipped with anatomy models and clinical simulations, hands-on physiology demonstrations, and chemistry experiments. The Mobile Teaching Unit can also be used as a 'mini lecture theatre' that can be used for talks, films and videos for non-biomedical purposes. Many of the hands-on experiments that can be done in the university laboratories can be taken out 'on the road' and run in the Mobile Teaching Unit for up to 20 students at a time.
Further details are available on the Mobile Teaching Unit page.
Since 2004, we have also participated in the Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme. This is a national initiative in which final year medical science undergraduates undertake teaching projects within local schools as part of their degree programme. This scheme has been extremely successful in building valuable links between the University and local schools, and it attracts excellent feedback from the undergraduates, schoolchildren and schoolteachers involved.
If you are interested in getting your school involved with this scheme please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For more information on anatomy courses for undergraduates and postgraduates (held in the Comparative Morphology Centre) please click here: Anatomy Courses
Courses and events run within the AIMS Centre throughout the year. Please check our news page. for upcoming events. If your requirements fall outside our current activities we would be happy to discuss these further. Please contact us by email (email@example.com)
Academic staff within the AIMS Centre also visit local primary and secondary schools and give talks about a wide range of topics within medical sciences, as part of the University's Widening Participation activities.
For further information about Widening Participation talks please visit the Widening Participation office website.