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ICTD Research Space Hazel school

“It was awesome!” - School takes over Research Space for International Clinical Trials Day

Pupils from Hazel Community Primary School in Leicester had the opportunity to ‘think and act like scientists’ in Research Space at Leicester’s Hospitals to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day on 23 May 2018.

Normally Research Space is closed to visitors while clinical trials are taking place. However, in a break from the norm, 60 children from Year 4 took part in scientific research experiments and had a tour of the facilities. Activities included using red cabbage indicator to test different household substances to see if they were acidic or alkaline, and learning about trial and error by building towers using only marshmallows and dry spaghetti.

ICTD Research Space Hazel school VR
ICTD Research Space Hazel spaghetti towers

Christina Daines, Children’s Research Manager at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “The aim of this event is to inspire the next generation of scientists, doctors and research nurses. The National Curriculum encourages children to ‘think scientifically’ so all our activities today were based around real life research techniques such as problem-solving, trial and error, using observational skills and recording results. After each activity the children collected a sticker to add to their Research Passport. We also gave the children the opportunity to try out our latest virtual reality headset, sensory room and 3D distraction unit, which we use during clinical trials to take patients’ minds off uncomfortable procedures.”

ICTD Research Space Hazel school group photo

Mrs Westwood, Science Lead at Hazel Community Primary School, said: “Thank you to the Research Space staff for having our children here today to be real scientists and to have hands-on experience. The children have enjoyed it so much and will be talking about it for weeks to come, I’m sure.”

One nine-year-old pupil from the school said: “I enjoyed building a tower with marshmallows and spaghetti, but my favourite bit was in the Jupiter room because we got to see how a trial works using polo mints and we tested how well we use our left and right hands. I loved meeting all the different people who took us around the Royal and told us about their jobs.”

Another pupil simply added: “It was awesome!”