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Past Events

Celebrating Cake & Craft in STEM
Wednesday 11th October 2017
2.30 - 4.30 pm (drop in or stay a while)
K Block Atrium, Department of Biology, University of York

Come and meet like-minded individuals applying their STEM talents to the art of baking and crafts. Bring science themed cupcakes and mathematical meringues to share, and spend an hour knitting a numbat, painting a peptostreptococcus, quilting a quaternary arch, or borrow a crochet hook and start your own amigurumi STEM role model library or coral reef. Alternatively, just eat cake and chat!

Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths which aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and create new role models for both girls and women studying or working in STEM. This independently organised Ada Lovelace Day event is part of a global celebration of women in STEM. To find out more about other events around the world, and more about Ada Lovelace Day itself, please visit or follow @findingada on Twitter.

It's also Biology Week! This is an annual celebration of the amazing world of biosciences, for everyone from children to professional scientists. Visit the Royal Society of Biology Biology Week 2017 calendar to find other events, follow @RoyalSocBio on Twitter, and enter a picture of your cake into the Physiological Society BioBakes competition!

#ALD2017 #BiologyWeek #bakeyourscience #BioBakes
#craftyourscience #cakeandcraft #womeninSTEM 

HUBS workshop: Learning through games and play
Wednesday 19th July 2017
10.00 - 16.00
Department of Biology, University of York

This workshop on learning through games and play was hosted by Dr Pen Holland and Dr Katie Smith at the University of York. Staff from York (Biology, Health Sciences and the Hull York Medical School) were joined by delegates from academia and scientific education travelling the length of the UK  and from overseas.

The keynote speaker was Dr Louise Robinson from the University of Derby, who engaged the audience on the convergent evolution of games and education. She introduced ideas of flow (complete immersion) and gamification, and gave numerous examples of how to incorporate games and game mechanics into teaching in higher education, to change student behaviour and improve engagement and learning.

Micro sessions were led by Dr Pen Holland (York: using Lego to learn sampling and analysis for ecology), Dr John L. Morton (South Wales: using jigsaws to interest biology students in biochemistry), Sam Butcher (Labster: enhancing bioscience courses through gamified laboratory simulations), Dr Mel Lacey (Sheffield Hallam: gamification in the first year, and creating an app), and Dr Louise Robinson (Derby: Park Life, a board game for conservation). Although these represented a wide range of angles from which to approach games and play, a number of common topics became apparent. Key among these were the promotion of teamwork among students, improved attendance and engagement with the course, and the opportunity and freedom to fail safely.

Plenty of time was built into the schedule for conversation, and this was kick-started by a riotous game of delegate Top Trumps, using information about areas of bioscience interest, favourite games, etc. One way to get started with games in teaching is to use a game that you like and know well, and think about how it can be adapted to be a teaching tool. To this end, a range of card and board games were available for delegates to play with and talk about over lunch and coffee. The day finished with group discussions about the use of games for teaching and scholarship in the biosciences on an individual and an institutional level. The mix of listening and doing in an informal atmosphere made the day a great success, and everyone went home with new friends and new ideas.