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What have chopsticks and weaving got in common?

Researchers from NDORMS used them to help talk about their research in the Explorazone.

 IF 2018 Surgery Steffi.jpg

Wonderful to see so many people of all ages visiting the stand, taking part in activities and learning about all the important research we’re conducting here in the unit
- Steffi


IF is the new name for the Oxford Science and Ideas Festival.  A key part of the festival is the Explorazone, hosted at Oxfordshire town hall throughout the first weekend of the festival. This is a free exhibition of stalls featuring local science, ideas and research.    On Saturday 13 October, NDORMS staff were out in force at our stall in the Explorazone to engage the public with their research.



IF 2018 girl surgery.jpgIF 2018 three budding surgeons.jpg

During the day, the stall was staffed by the team from SITU who coached budding surgeons, adults and children alike through simulated keyhole surgery techniques. Some of them completed the tasks with ease others took a bit more practice to get the hang of things.

IF 2018 Cushla and knee exhibit.jpg


Great to see squeamish adults and super eager children participating in the activities 
- Cushla



As well as learning trying out surgery, visitors took part in a randomised trial which used a highly sophisticated algorithm (see picture below) to assign participants to one of the two arms of the trial.


IF 2018 Heads or Tails Carlos.jpg

It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the impact of our work to the public (and tease the youngsters into research!) 
- Carlos


After being randomised to the chopsticks or spoon arm of the trial, participants tried to transfer as many beads as possible (one at a time) from cup to cup with their assigned implement.  Data was collected throughout the day and, possibly unsurprisingly, the spoons were shown to be more effective.

IF 2018 dude and Damian.jpg

So much interest from minds young and old. Can I do this every day? 
- Damian






At 5pm, the family part of the day ended and the transition to the 'adult only' part of the event started.  The biopatch team brought their loom along while Liliana took charge of the surgical exhibit. 

IF 2018 Adult surgery Steffi.jpg

While being serenaded with theremin music, the evening continued, with many people coming over to find out a bit more about the loom and how it played a key part in the development of the biopatch as well as it's ongoing use in new research looking at alternative methods for treatment of ruptured ligaments in the knee.   

IF 2018 Loom 1.jpg

Overall it was a great experience, people are really interested in different kind of fields. I didn’t think weaving would be so interesting a subject. 
- Luka

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