On Saturday 8th June the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum in Birkenhead was host to a special butterfly-themed family drop-in session. Louise Reynolds and Greg Hurst from the department of evolution, ecology and behaviour were on hand to discuss all things butterfly and also brought with them some butterflies, caterpillars and pupae to show the different parts of a butterfly life cycle. The butterflies were an excellent source of inspiration for the making of many beautiful crafts and drawings. Towards the end of the afternoon everyone was captivated when we were lucky enough to watch as some butterflies emerged from their chrysalides. Thank you to Pam Sullivan for helping with the crafts and for letting us bring our butterflies to visit.
As part of the volunteering undertaken by Dr Eva Caamano-Gutierrez with the charity The Girls’ Network we hosted a group of girls from Holly Lodge College and showed them how the real life of scientists looks like.
Our aim was to showcase the multidisciplinary and collaborative research that is undertaken in the institute while trying to encourage all the girls to pursue further education, especially in scientific fields.
Arriving just after 16:00 the groups of 19 girls and a few curious mentors arrived to the IIB and were greeted by Dr Jill Madine, Dr Marie Phelan and Dr Eva Caamano. They took all the girls to visit the Biochemistry labs, the NMR Centre for Metabolomics and the Bioinformatics office where both the CBF and the CGR are hosted. Our message was clear: we work on very cool projects, we only succeed working together as a team, our jobs are hard but flexible and overall science is really exciting!
The cherry on the cake was put on by our software developer Dr Tony McCabe who showcased a number of software solutions applied to life sciences that really brought the ‘wow’ factor into the conversation.
The girls were interested in multiple aspects discussed during the visit ranging from specifics of an academic career, including what is a PhD? Or do you get paid while doing one? To being surprised about the fact that Charities such as the British Heart Foundation fund many different research projects.
Following this visit we had our last mentoring session for the academic year. When the girls were asked what they think they can they achieve in their lives they all answer unison “Anything”.
We are doing something good here. Let’s keep them coming in future years!