... understanding life in molecular detail

Outreach Activities


Discovery Zone 2016

As part of Leeds Festival of Science 2016, 450 pupils from primary and secondary school attended the Discovery Zone during 2 day event. There were a wide range of stalls, including one from the Astbury BioStructure Laboratory, where pupils discovered how to make nylon fibres with Emma Hesketh, Sophie Hesketh, Becky Thompson, Glenn Carrington and Matt Iadanza.


Leeds City Museum Science Fair 2016

Organised by The Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, the 2016 Science Fair was attended by over 900 people. The Astbury Biostructure laboratory, with a team of volunteers including Chris Bartlett, Ieva Drulyte, Dan Hurdiss, Jennifer Tomlinson and Becky Thompson, ran a range of fun activities including looking at cells with light microscopes, making pipe cleaner neuronal cells and science themed colouring in. 


SoapBox Science 2016

In June 2016, Becky Thompson took part in Newcastle's SoapBox Science event, where scientists don their labcoat and stand on a soapbox in the city centre to speak to the general public about their research for an hour. Becky spoke about how electron microscopes help us to 'see the unseeable', tiny protein machines that drive biological processes.



Astbury Conversation 2016

In this public attended by over 200 people, held in the Parkinson Court, various interactive, hand-on activities and demonstrations from the Astbury disciplines of Chemistry, Physics and Biological Sciences were organised. The electron microscopy team at the Astbury Biostructure laboratory, including Becky Thompson, Emma Hesketh, Dan Hurdiss, Matt Iadanza and Ethan Morgan, put on a range of activities illustrating the power and beauty of protein and protein complex structures obtained by cryo-electron microscopy. On display were a range of 3D printed models, from viruses to membrane proteins. 


I'm a scientist, get me out of here!

I'm a Scientist get me out of here is an online event where school students meet and interact with scientists. It’s an X Factor-style competition between scientists, where the students are the judges. Students challenge the scientists over fast-paced online text-based live chats where they can ask the scientists anything! In June 2016, Becky Thompson took part in the 'cell zone', participating in over 15 live chats with groups of school students, answering a huge range of questions from 'Have you ever broken an electron microscope' to 'Whats your favourite kind of medication'.