Engineers make an impact at the Science Festival

The IMPACT project team encouraged children and their carers to learn about micro engineering at the Edinburgh International Science Festival this year. The team’s research is developing new approaches to cancer treatment by using miniaturised, wireless sensor chips the size of a grain of rice to monitor the minute-to-minute status of an individual tumour and destroy cancer cells.

Based at the Learning Centre, the team’s ‘Micro-Engineers’ event involved children and their carers discovering real-life plans to implant a miniature monitoring station inside a cancer tumour to help doctors destroy it.

At the event over 2000 people enjoyed the team’s activities. They learned about sensors and used some of the common sensors found at home and in hospitals. Visitors were also able to light up an LED attached to a chip, by dipping a rod into a ‘body’ tank, showing how the IMPACT device will be powered whenin side the body. A ‘spot the difference’ poster activity also taught the difference between healthy and cancerous cells, before looking down microscopes to test visitors’ knowledge with slides of both types of cells.

Julia Eighteen, who helped organise the event, said:

“The ‘Micro-Engineers’ event was a very valuable experience for all of us who took part and it was interesting to communicate science to different audiences from the more usual academic conferences. The children, as well as their carers, surprised us with some very discerning questions about the research we are carrying out.”

Children at the Edinburgh International Science Festival
Demonstrations in action at the Science Festival credit: Ricky Guerrero
Spot the Difference, engineering at the Edinburgh International Science Festival
Spot the Difference at the Science Festival credit: Ricky Guerrero