EnLightening workshop to celebrate British Science Week



The Wellcome Trust and EPSRC funded ‘EnLightenment’ project has got underway at the start of British Science Week 2015, with a workshop at the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre in Fife.

‘Enlightenment: Build it, See it, Show it’ aims to get schoolchildren across Scotland building their own microscopes from kits, and using them to take amazing close-up images to reveal the hidden details of the world around them. The project is a key part of Heriot-Watt’s activities as part of the UN International year of Light.

Prof. Rory Duncan (IB3, EPS) and Dr Laura Wicks (Heriot-Watt Engage) took part in a workshop explaining the awesomeness of microscopy to biology teachers from across Scotland. The teachers got the opportunity to build their own smartphone microscopes, and were amazed at the simplicity involved in creating an object which can see into cells.

The Enlightenment team also recently demonstrated the smartphone microscopes at the Scottish launch of the International Year of Light, which took place at the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The image above shows a smartphone that has been transformed into a microscope being used to examine a leaf.

The Enlightenment project will showcase the importance of interdisciplinary science, using the beauty of biological images with the combination of cell biology and optical physics. The winning images will be showcased at the Scottish closing ceremony for the International Year of Light which takes place at Heriot-Watt on the 2nd December.

The project is supported by the Wellcome Trust, the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account, and Heriot-Watt University. The funders include the Scottish Government and British Science Association.