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Cambridge BIG weekend

The Gurdon Institute brings hands-on activities to the Cambridge Live BIG weekend on Parker's Piece

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Past events

2018: Make your own neurons

As part of our Experiments in Art and Science project and using artist, David Blandy's, film 'Borked Brain' about neurons in a dish for inspiration, visitors were invited to paint neurons in a Petri dish, look through microscopes at real neurons, and draw neurons and their messages in a giant Petri dish.


2017: Make and test your own microscope

The microscope is a window to the incredible “small world” of life.  We helped visitors to make their own simple microscope using a mobile phone to magnify and view the micro-world. Hundreds of science-hungry children and adults met Gurdon Institute scientists to discuss their latest research and how microscopy is pushing the boundaries of what can be observed in biology. 


2016: Why do we use fruit flies in the lab?

As part of the dedicated Fun Lab tent on Parker's Piece, with the live-music stage booming in the distance and thousands of people of all ages enjoying a relaxed day out in the sun, the Gurdon Institute public engagement volunteers shared their passion for research with a steady throng of visitors over five hours. Our stand aimed to introduce fruit flies as a model organism for developmental biology and disease-related research, with the story of the short life-cycle of Drosophila and the ease of introducing genetic mutations, plus examples of eggs, larvae, live flies and a range of genetic mutants to identify under the microscopes.

With around 2400 members of the public visiting the Fun Lab tent, our pens, stickers and postcards were eagerly snapped up and we hope that some of the visitors will have been encouraged to come along to our on-site event as part of the Cambridge Science Festival in March.  Many of the people coming to the tent were not expecting to find science on the menu for their day out in the sunshine!

You can view two of our posters describing why we use flies for research.


DSJ fun lab life cycle fun lab Libby fun lab