Environmental Health students from Middlesex University attended the UK Skills Show at Birmingham NEC in November, with the aim of inspiring the next generation of public health scientists.
Five students and three members of staff from the University's Natural Sciences department travelled to the show, running a series of hands-on experiences designed to encourage young people to explore further education opportunities in public health.
Scientists specialising in public health work to protect and improve the health of communities across the globe, and the team from Middlesex set out to introduce visitors of all ages to issues in public health and explain what public health professionals do.
"Our stand at the Skills Show was a fantastic opportunity for our students to showcase their discipline to the public – which is a great skill to develop," said Dr Celia Bell, Head of Natural Sciences at Middlesex.
"It is also important to promote careers in public and environmental health to visitors. It is not a choice that many school leavers are aware of, but public and environmental health professionals are vital in confronting global health issues that affect all of us."
The 'Have a go at...' stand designed by Middlesex staff and students featured three interactive activities relating to public health issues, including a 'yuck factor' display of pests and moulds nobody would want to find in their home.
A microscopy lab also enabled visitors to identify various pests, moulds and microbes, while a noise pollution experiment used a real-time noise analyser to measure how loud people could scream.
The Skills Show is the UK's largest skills and careers event, and also hosts the WorldSkills UK National Competition Finals, which saw three teams of Middlesex students pick up medals in the mobile robotics category.
Environmental Health students working on the 'Have a go at...' stand were Luiz Alberto Lopez Quintas Filho and Rafael Bello Corassa – both of whom are studying at Middlesex through the Science Without Borders exchange programme – Razvan Nitica, Daniel Murtagh and Surrya Sadiq.
They were assisted by Senior Lecturer in Life Sciences Dr Britta Stordal, Life Sciences Technician Salma Mostafa, and Dr Celia Bell.