On 24 October 2018, May and Lucinda led WISER-themed science and engineering activities at the Science Museum in London as part of the Museum’s Year of Engineering programme. This was part of WISER’s outreach activities to engage the wider public in our research. Our WISER theme featured in the programme for the day was:
Something in the Water
Would you like to swim in a lake full of worms? What if they were so small you didn’t know they were there, but they could still make you really ill? Meet the water engineers trying to keep us safe from these tiny terrors!
Well over 300 children participated in the activities which included making cercariae models using pompom and pipe cleaners as well as having a go at making sand filters using plastic bottles, sand and gravel. The children used glitter to make-up their own contaminated water and then filtered it, which was super cool as the filters completely trapped the pieces of glitter.
As it was a family week, the adults accompanying the children were not left out – there was a screen showing a video of the Schistosome cercariae, how they penetrate the skin and how they appear under a miscroscope. Another video which highlighted the dangers of swimming in surface waters in endemic areas was also shown. Samples of worms in formaldehyde and samples of empty snail shells in Petri dishes were on display.
A fun day was had by all!