Staff from the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre Respiratory Theme engaged with young members of the public at the Brookes Science Bazaar on Saturday 24 February.
The event, aimed at primary school children, drew in around 2,000 people and was busy throughout the whole day.
In one popular activity, Dr Tim Hinks used a bronchoscope and a dummy to show attendees how doctors look inside people’s airways. Images of what would be seen were projected onto a wall for everyone to see – while some of the more squeamish people watching through their fingers, others were fascinated to see what our airways look like!
Dr Maisha Jabeen (left) helped attendees understand how their lungs work with a model of the lungs that the children could make at home. The children were amazed that they could hear each other’s lungs working with a stethoscope.
Dr Jennifer Cane had collected a box of sputum from people across Oxford over the month leading up to the event (that smelt like custard…). The children’s task was to put their hands in the green goo and discover the ‘good’ immune cells or the ‘bad’ bacteria that the immune cells were fighting.
While the children were getting their hands messy in the ‘sputum’, parents were able to ask questions about why our bodies make sputum and why it can look different at different times.