Manchester Institute of Biotechnology Open Day 2016

The Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB) organises and contributes to a range of outreach, public engagement and widening participation events throughout the year in accordance with the University of Manchester’s social responsibility remit. The latest of these was the institute’s 5th A-Level Open Day which, this year, featured specific contribution from the ROBOX project.

On the 18th November 194 students (aged 16-18) and 16 teachers from 10 schools were welcomed into the MIB for a day of discovery and learning. The programme included small group tours of the laboratory areas by members of the MIB research community, engaging scientific demonstrations in the building’s atrium and a series of bespoke presentations highlighting the different areas of research undertaken within the institute. One of these was a short introduction to the engineering of robust oxidation enzymes by ROBOX researcher Michele Tavanti, followed by a premier of the ROBOX enzyme engineering dissemination video designed by consortium members. The overall goal of the open day was to show young people that biotechnology is interesting and fun as well as to raise aspirations regarding possible next steps in their education and careers. Analysis of the evaluations forms collected after the event revealed that the visit had changed many of the student’s perceptions of scientists and raised awareness of opportunities for them in biotechnology and at the University of Manchester.

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Students on a tour of the laboratory areas.

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Showing the ROBOX video in the MIB lecture theatre.

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ROBOX researcher Michele Tavanti presenting to the students.

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Students engaging with science demonstrations.