Race Against the Ageing Clock – from training to practice

Race Against the Ageing Clock – from training to practice

The training for the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition (RSSSE) was led by a team from the Science Museum – experts in engaging and capturing the imagination of the public. Throughout the day, we discovered how to tell a clear and compelling story, how to understand our audience and pitch at the right level, facilitate conversations and how to ‘hook’ the audience. We explored in detail what makes a great activity and tried out our stem cell game, which we are developing for the RSSSE.

It was also an amazing opportunity to visit the Royal Society and experience the auspicious surroundings of the venue, steeped in scientific history. Our exhibition stand will be in an old library on the first floor, surrounded by decades of pleasingly old books, classic paintings and marble statues of iconic scientists, such as Darwin and Newton. We also had the chance to network with other exhibitors from research organisations across the UK and learn about their activities and exciting research.

Luckily for us, we had the opportunity to try out a number of our activities for real at the Cambridge Science Festival, which allowed us to put into action our training and consider how these will work in the Summer. The activities to look out for at the RSSSE include:

  • A ‘Stem Cell’ game where participants turn back the epigenetic clock by converting cells back to stem cells
  • An interactive computer model of the epigenetic clock to predict biological age of mice
  • Comparing  old and young nematode worms, C. elegans, down a microscope and investigating the effect of a restricted diet on the ageing process
  • Taking an ageing selfie to see what you might look like in years to come

Our interactions with the public, old and young, have given us lots of ideas for making further improvements to our exhibit. We are also developing an exhibit video and an iPad game to play at our Race Against the Ageing Clock stand. We are looking forward to the fantastic atmosphere at the finish line of the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in July.