GENIE wins International Award for Science Communication

Posted by pt91 at Dec 23, 2010 11:42 AM |
University of Leicester Centre of Excellence recognised for board game encouraging public understanding of science

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 23 December 2010

GENIE, the University of Leicester’s Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Genetics, is part of a team that has won the Grand Jury Award at 2WAYS, a major European Life Sciences Festival organised by the European Science Events Association (EUSCEA) in Brussels earlier this month. The prize was awarded to GENIE and its collaborators CALMAST (Centre for the Advancement of Learning of Maths, Science and Technology) in Ireland and CELS (Centre for Effective Learning in Science) at Nottingham Trent University for a board game developed to explain the principles of DNA mutation.

In order to achieve this, a simple yet engaging board game, the Mutation Game, was developed by Dr Cas Kramer from GENIE in collaboration with Dr Sheila Donegan (CALMAST) and Dr Karen Moss (CELS). The Mutation Game can be used in the classroom or at science events and its first version is based on mutation and evolution. Set on an alien planet the Evolution Game shows ‘evolution in action’ in a very short time.

2WAYS is a two-year project which ran through 2009 and 2010 and was funded by the European Commission under Science in Society FP7. Partners from European countries worked in pairs to develop new communication tools to enhance public engagement with EU-funded life sciences research. The EUSCEA 2WAYS Science Festival took place in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and the European Parliament in Brussels from Monday 29 November till Wednesday 1 December 2010. The Festival included presentations of 17 Science Communication projects and the first ever Young Europeans Science Parliament.

All seventeen 2WAYS projects were judged by a team of seven Science Communicators from all over Europe. The judging criteria included clarity of the scientific message, interactivity, innovation of presentation and relevance in daily life of the subject presented. The judging panel was unanimous about their first choice – the Mutation Game! In his acceptance speech Dr Cas Kramer said: “It is great to see that all students, young and old, seem to enjoy playing our Mutation Game, and [they] seem to learn from it! It is a great honour now to receive peer-recognition for our work here in Brussels.”

For more information about the Mutation Game, please contact the GENIE Outreach and Public Engagement Coordinator, Dr Cas Kramer (ck53@le.ac.uk).

For more information:

www.le.ac.uk/genie

www.twoways.eu

www.euscea.org

Pictured: From left to right Dr Ruth Barber (Department of Genetics, Leicester), Dr Cas Kramer (GENIE, Department of Genetics, Leicester), Dr Sheila Donegan (CALMAST), Dr Eoin Gill (CALMAST), Dr Karen Moss (CELS) and Prof Gadi Glaser (Chair of the 2WAYS Science Advisory Board) during the 2WAYS Science Festival final ceremony at the European Parliament in Brussels.

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