Cracking cancer with science; an educational outreach campaign for primary schoolchildren

Breast cancer remains a significant disease in Ireland. Our laboratory is investigating novel therapies to target a sub-group of aggressive breast tumours. This work feeds into two larger efforts. The first is to help personalize cancer therapies for patients. The second is to provide new insight into how specific tumours develop, in order to better understand how they could be prevented in future.
Accordingly, we propose an educational outreach campaign aimed at primary school children to demonstrate the job of a cancer researcher and to increase awareness of cancer prevention methods through strategies adapted for classroom delivery. It will encompass two principal elements:
1. Creation of a video (incorporating biological animations) illustrating a day in the life of a cancer biologist. This will allow students a realistic peek into a working day in a laboratory, giving them the chance to learn some basic biology principles while highlighting health-promoting lifestyle habits. 2. In classroom workshop visits, practical demonstrations utilising laboratory equipment and the design of age-appropriate experiments will give students hands-on experience of conducting scientific research
To complement learning and disseminate knowledge, students will receive a workbook highlighting key concepts and incorporating interactive scientific puzzles, crosswords and fun facts to take home. This programme will allow exchange of knowledge in a progressive learning environment which in turn will de-mystify cancer, increase awareness of scientific research, inspire future scientists and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Award Date
23 October 2015
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Ann Hopkins
Host Institution
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme