This blog post is provided by Dr Victoria Dominguez Almela, Visiting Fellow at BU and Aquatic Ecologist at the University of Southampton.
The Dorchester Festival of Science is an annual event that takes place in Dorchester, Dorset. It is a celebration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) that aims to engage the public, particularly children and young people, with these fields. The festival features a range of interactive exhibits, workshops, talks, and activities presented by scientists, researchers, and educators from various organizations, including research institutions, businesses and universities, with Bournemouth University (BU) and Professor Genoveva Esteban as key organisers of the event.
One of the highlights of the festival is the opportunity to engage with experts in specific areas of science. At the 2023 festival, the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences at BU presented a table with activities focused on invasion ecology. Dr Demetra Andreou, Ben Parker and Dr Victoria Dominguez Almela engaged the public with interactive activities that demonstrated the impact of invasive species on ecosystems. Visitors extracted and analysed environmental DNA samples using cutting-edge technology, or played a game to learn about competition and feeding relationships between invasive and native fish species.
The presence of experts in different fields of science makes the Dorchester Festival of Science an excellent opportunity for the public to learn about the latest research and innovations. The festival is particularly geared towards young people, with activities that encourage curiosity, exploration, and experimentation. By engaging with experts and taking part in activities, visitors can gain a greater understanding of how science affects their lives and the world around them.
The festival is also an opportunity for scientists, researchers, and educators to share their work with a wider audience. By engaging with the public, they can help to promote understanding and awareness of scientific issues, and encourage more people to consider careers in STEM fields. The festival provides a platform for them to showcase their work, communicate their findings, and inspire the next generation of scientists.
Whether you were a budding scientist or just looking for a fun day out, the Dorchester Festival of Science was an event not to be missed!
#PublicEngagement #InvasionEcology #eDNA #Competition #Fish #Research