Monday, 25 October 2010

Dragon's den bacteria party

A Dragon’s Den-style teenage panel has selected a ‘Bacteria Party’ as its winning idea presented by scientists as part of the Manchester Science Festival’s community awards. The ‘Bacteria Party’, which will be held on 25 October, was an idea presented by the ‘B team’ from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Manchester, and includes cake and goodie bags alongside games, interactive exhibits and poster displays to celebrate the good and bad sides of bugs, germs and bacteria.

A panel of three young Dragons (17-19) judged four pitches made by academics in the fields of biology, medicine, technology, chemistry and physics. Each had to present a fun idea about science which will be created into a community-focused event during the Manchester Science Festival.

The winning team includes two academics and a team of eight masters students of pharmacy. The young Dragons from the Den have planned and prepared the event with the winning group and invite visitors to come and join in the fun. At the event there will be five stations to teach the public about antibodies, as well as different germs good and bad. Each participant gets a passport and a stamp at the station.

Sarah Evans of the Dragons Den Decides said: “The Bacteria Party is a great idea to help promote understanding of science and have some fun at the same time. The team at the School of Pharmacy did a great presentation and convinced the Dragons that this was the event that was most likely to inspire the local community to learn about science. Do come along and party with us on 25 October, and learn about the good as well as the bad sides of bacteria and how it affects our lives.”

Other contestants included a scientist form University of Salford, who wanted to run an event to show young people how to make ice cream the old fashioned way. Another team from University of Manchester wanted to demonstrate the dangers of a bad diet to our brains and the effect of lifestyle choices to having a stroke. A scientist from University of Manchester wanted to run an event to demonstrate the different senses and how they could be used to document scientific research.

The Dragons Den Decides is a youth participatory project as part of the Manchester Beacon Science Festival Community Awards. Manchester Science Festival is now in its triumphant fourth year and has quickly become the most popular science festival in the UK! As well as exploring all aspects of science, this year the Festival celebrates the International Year of Biodiversity. The Festival brings together universities, museums, unusual venues and community spaces to inspire people from across the region and learn more about why science is amazing, great fun and an essential, accessible part of everyday life.

The Bacteria Party is supported by the Manchester Beacon. The Manchester Beacon combines the complementary strengths of The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Salford with the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and Manchester:Knowledge Capital. The Manchester Beacon engages staff, students, community groups and local businesses in the design and delivery of activities that use engagement to break down the barriers between universities and local people.

The event runs this afternoon from 3pm at the Zion Arts Centre.

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