Who is this for?

Men in White is aimed at year 9 pupils of any ability with an interest in science; invites have gone out to schools across the south west who have attended in previous years. If you have not received our mailings and would like to come along, we would love to hear from you, there is an e-mail link at the foot of the page and contact details here.
Places fill up fast and are allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

What does it involve?

The event is free of charge and takes half a day, we run a morning and an afternoon session on each day (15th and 16th March) at the RILD Building of the University of Exeter Medical School. The approximate timings are 09:30-12:00 and 13:00-15:30, if you need to leave a bit early to fit in with other school arrangements we can accommodate that if you let us know in advance. There is a café on site should you wish to purchase refreshments before or after. Unfortunately we do not have space indoors for eating packed lunches although you are welcome to take your chances with the weather and eat on the benches outside.

What is the aim of this?

Our main goal is simply showing that science is fun, exciting and relevant to society. We want people to realise that having a career, or just an interest, in science is not reserved for those who are super-intelligent, socially-awkward and/or averse to personal hygiene. In short it’s not just for nerds. Scientists have a diverse range of backgrounds and personalities and the people involved in Men in White reflect this. We strongly encourage the pupils – and teachers! – who attend to get involved and ask lots if questions, not just about the activities but about the researchers’ career choices and science in general.

It’s not:

An open day for the university.

This is aimed at everyone! Many pupils might have no intention of going to university or in year 9 have given it no thought yet. We do not want anyone to feel that the day is not meant for them or to participate equally. Obviously there is opportunity to find out about the world-class research taking place at Exeter and how this links into the community and our teaching but it is not the focus.

About medicine.

Yes we are a medical school and many pupils study science with a view to doing medicine and yes there is a biomedical slant to some of the activities. But…the day is about science for its own sake. In fact we hope to show that there are a host of rewarding careers open to people with an interest in science at all levels – there is more than medical or vet school or benchwork for that matter!

Extra lessons.

The day should be fun and interesting for the pupils, we enjoy running it and hope that they share in this. We’re here to listen to them and discuss science - not to talk at them. We hope that the activities we provide add to school curricula and provide the basis for further discussion and investigation back in the classroom. We have a lot of experience working with schools and are aware that each one will have its own approaches and emphases to the science syllabus; it is pointless trying to tailor our events to a specific one. Some of the content is a tongue-in-cheek, sideways look at science but equally it contains serious issues with wide-ranging implications, e.g. genetic engineering, the effect of diet and lifestyle on health, the role of scientists in society.

What will the activities involve?

The day is based around a biomedical mystery so we can’t give too much away without spoiling the plot!! We can reveal that pupils will have the chance to perform some of the techniques routinely used in biological research labs such as microbiology, molecular biology, cryonics and biochemistry. They will also work with our team of diabetes research nurses to measure blood glucose, BMI and other indicators of health. We try to make the activities as hands-on as possible within the bounds of safety and time available.

Have more questions?

Please get in touch using the link at the foot of the page or go to John or Lorna's staff pages for further contact details.

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