Maïwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas, Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow at Heriot-Watt's School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, led a unique science project for children when she ran 'Microworld and Microflows', the first Microfluidic activity for children in Scotland, at the Borders Science festival 'Bang goes the Borders'.
Discovering the world of microfluidics
The drop-in session in Melrose St Mary's school was very well attended and parents and kids enjoying themselves while discovering the world of Microfluidics.
Maïwenn said, "Microfluidics might sound complicated, but it relates to the way fluids move in very narrow environments, channels no thicker than a human hair.
"Microfluidics has a whole range of uses, including medical diagnostics and environmental applications like the detection of bacteria in water. It allows us to create a 'laboratory on a chip', taking diagnostic tools to where they are needed, instead if the traditional route of collecting samples then having to transport them to a large-scale laboratory.
"As well as being appreciated by the children and their parents the workshop also gave valuable experience to our researchers and PhD students involved by allowing them to practice their public engagement and communication skills in a relaxed and enjoyable environment."
Future Science Festivals
Maïwenn and her team (Dr Thomas Aspray and Dr Helen Bridle) are aiming to take this activity to other local and national festivals including the Edinburgh Science festival and British Science week, as well as creating a classroom version where the pupils will be invited to create their own microfluidic chips.
Image courtesy of Florian Mallèvre