Inspiring future endocrinologists with a taste of SfE BES
Nigel Page | Society News
What would it have been like for you to experience your first Society for Endocrinology BES conference even before you finished school, when you were still embarking on your first steps towards a scientific or medical career?
Well that’s exactly what the Society has been able to offer around 50 lucky school pupils each year, starting at the Society for Endocrinology BES conference 2017 in Harrogate. The aim is to bring endocrinology to life and to demonstrate its value in the everyday world and in careers.
The Society for Endocrinology BES conference 2018 in Glasgow was no different, and we welcomed pupils from local Glaswegian schools to the Scottish Event Campus to come and meet the scientists, nurses and clinicians who make up the Society’s membership.
For one afternoon during the conference, pupils were able to attend their own dedicated conference session, which started with an overview of hormones given by Maralyn Druce. Pupils then rotated around four hands-on activities that provided them with a taste of some of the many flavours of hormone science, from ‘pin the hormone’ (Rosemary Bland & Matt Simmonds) and ‘cell signalling’ (Nigel Page) to ‘circadian rhythms’ (Francesca Spiga) and ‘blood glucose’ (Channa Jayasena & Lisa Shepherd).
The cell signalling even included its own light and sound display, while Matt Grant had devised a series of Society for Endocrinology-branded QR-coded cards, which students could take home in order to learn more about hormones at their leisure, by linking to the Society’s You and Your Hormones website (www.yourhormones.info). Two networking sessions followed, one each for scientific and clinical careers, with plenty of time for pupils to ask all their questions in an informal setting.
The schools’ conference session provided a great way for members to get involved in showcasing some of the Society’s public engagement activities. We are grateful to the 22 members who volunteered at this year’s event.
And what did the pupils and their teachers have to say?
‘It gave me a first-hand perspective on how individual various careers are.
I learned from real-life scientists about the things/experiences I need for my future.
It made me certain that my choice of career was for me.
The practical aspect was engaging and enjoyable.’
Pupils, Schools’ Conference Session, 2018
‘Thank you for a lovely afternoon, it was very informative.
All the scientists and medics were lovely and very approachable, and the pupils have gained a lot from this.’
Teachers, Schools’ Conference Session, 2018
YOU TOO CAN BE INVOLVED!
We are already planning for the Society for Endocrinology BES conference 2019 in Brighton in November. Perhaps you are considering your first steps into public engagement and want to learn a bit more? Maybe you have a fantastic activity you’d like to showcase?
Alternatively, if you’ve got an idea that you would like to develop and demonstrate, you could apply for one of the Society’s Public Engagement Grants (deadline 25 September 2019). Whichever way, please do get in touch.
It is very rewarding and enjoyable to get involved in public engagement and outreach with the Society! For further informal discussion about getting involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nigel Page, Public Engagement Committee member and Endocrine Ambassador at Kingston University London