stem cells in their environment
Access Aspiration Workshop: October 2020
29 January 2021
by Jessica Sells, Public Engagement Officer for the CSCRM
In October Half Term 2020, the CSCRM partnered with Mayor’s Fund for London’s Access Aspiration programme to deliver a week of stem cell activities to young Londoners from disadvantaged backgrounds.
130 participants from 20 schools across London took part in multiple stem cell activities ranging from talks, quizzes, Instagram Q&As and creative craft projects in a flexible format to suit their needs and schedules.
We are thrilled that 100% of participants learnt new information, 97% would recommend the workshop, and many felt more inspired to pursue careers in STEM after having taken part.
Read on for quotes from participants who were keen to share their experience of taking part. A full breakdown of activities and evaluation of the week is also available here (PDF, 10.4mb).
"I have always wanted to pursue a career in Science and the Workshop which was organised by the KCL team has inspired me more to reach my goal. My most interesting part was the Lecture by Professor Fiona Watt because she has expanded my knowledge in terms of Stem Cells and how it is part of the global scientific movement in the Human Cell Atlas."
- David, Putney Academy
"I really enjoyed taking part as I learnt much more about stem cells in a fun way, I especially enjoyed listening to the lecture which was packed full of information on how stem cells are being using in things like blood transportation to people in need as well as skin grafts, the lecture also outlined the opportunities that have been successful due to stem cells, mainly cancer immunotherapy which shows promising potential for future advances."
- Sarai, Harris Academy Bermondsey
"I really enjoyed the workshop because it gave me an insight into the different courses, and it has also made me want to pursue a career in medicine. The activities were fun and at the same time I was learning new things about stem cells."
- Methusan, Brampton Manor Academy
"In my opinion, in this workshop I found the section related to the liver the most interesting - the function of the liver being able to regenerate itself and how research is directed for stem cell related; clearly logical to apply work and effort to such related fields. The workshop as a whole was quite interesting - I enjoyed listening to the Doctors on the insta stories because they specifically gave their experiences on their job as skin specialists and why they chose such a job and what the future looks like for skin development relative to stem cells. After this workshop, if I wanted to pursue a career in any of the fields related to stem cells, it would stem cell research on the liver - still amazes me how the liver can regenerate itself, therefore it would only make sense to direct research of stem cells towards the liver, I would definitely like to take part in liver - stem cell research if possible, in the future."
- Aran, Oasis Academy Shirley Park
"It is how skin scientists don’t actually do lab work all of the time there is wet lab and dry lab work and the part that interested me the most is that dry lab is actually a lot of analysing data in large tables to understand their wet work better. I also loved that how Dr Xinyi Du and Dr Christina Philippeos both agreed that not every day is the same, so this lets you learn new things every day. It really made me want to pursue a career in it a there is the curious aspect of finding out new aspects to stem cells every day! Thank you for the lovely workshop."
- Abdullah, Brampton Manor Academy
"It was a great time having an insight into stem cell research and how a typical day for a skin scientist is. Thank you for the opportunity."
- Krithika, Brampton Manor Academy
"It was a really unique, fun and engaging workshop that really made me realise how diverse the study of stem cells is. I found the lecture the most interesting as I learnt a lot about stem cells and how you can make induced potent stem cells; what they can be used for."
- Yusuf, Brampton Manor Academy
"Taking part in this course was an enjoyable new experience as it showed me a broader aspect on stem cells at King's College London. This also helped me lean towards my career in science, therefore I definitely recommend having a look at this workshop."
- Rehima, Dormers Wells High School
"The workshop gave me a deep insight into the world of stem cells. My initial view was that it was unexplored and mundane but upon participating in this workshop, my eyes had been opened - I discovered so much more about the human body and cell cycles, including the role of stem cells in maintaining tissue and other things in the body."
- Ali, Brompton Manor Academy
"The workshop was delivered beautifully in a fun and engaging way with various activities to help keep you motivated throughout the session!"
- Muijda, Chelsea Academy
"This experience has made me think of stem cells more holistically, for sure. It got me to think about how it can be applied to a diverse population for treatment of organs instead of doing organ transplants. Stem cell research shows there are methods in improving lives efficiently unlike patients waiting for organ donations, and this is exactly the purpose of me wanting to do something in the medical field - to help others and improve livelihoods in the best way possible. This experience has definitely kept Stem cell research as a career to consider."
- Jasmin, Brampton Manor Aca
"This workshop was extremely informative and has definitely changed my perspective of stem cells and lab research. The most fun part was watching the Instagram stories of the doctors' Q&As as they were extremely fun to watch and learn from. The hardest part was recreating the cell images but it was fun to use my imagination. As a student wanting to pursue a career in medicine, this workshop showed me that lab research may not be as boring as some people think it may be. It isn't to me. I would definitely recommend this workshop to others."
- Sumana, Brampton Manor Academy
"This workshop was really interesting and fun! I liked the fact that the activities were fun to complete and that we could do them at our own leisure, so it didn't feel like a lesson. It really made me think about medicinal sciences as a career that combines the application of science to helping people by innovating new ideas. The information about how scientists are now able to essentially grow mini organ inside labs with a copy of our own genes makes me feel positive that medicine and medicinal science still has a way to go forwards and can help people with ailments previously thought incurable!"
- Nicole, Brampton Manor Aca
"This workshop was very interesting as Stem cells are still something that we are yet to fully understand and to hear from such brilliant scientists about the work that they are so very proud is very thought stimulating. I loved the fun little wordsearches and crosswords and the lectures that we listened to as it helped as slowly build knowledge on the subject. I have always wanted to pursue a career in science but this workshop is letting me consider fields that I hadn't before e.g. dermatology and stem cell research."
- Anika, Brampton Manor Academy