Next generation of scientists help celebrate research

Posted on Friday 19th May 2017
Students from a Lambeth school learning about clinical trials with the Evelina London research team

Students from The Elmgreen School with staff from the Evelina London research team.

Students from The Elmgreen School in Lambeth enjoyed a special science event to learn all about clinical trials with the Evelina London research team.

As part of events to mark International Clinical Trials Day on Friday 19 May, 12 and 13 year olds from The Elmgreen School were invited to take part in a science lesson with a difference. The group were given instruction in basic CPR and lifesaving skills, a demonstration of equipment used to measure lung capacity in asthma research, and a mock clinical trial investigating different types of fizzy drinks.

Student Ruben Simwogerere enjoyed finding out more about clinical trials: “I was intrigued to find out how basic methods contribute and are used in sophisticated trials designed to discover new treatments."

Celebrated all over the world, International Clinical Trials Day recognises the day in 1747 that James Lind, a ship’s surgeon aboard the HMS Salisbury, began his pioneering clinical trial into the causes of scurvy.

The session was organised by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Facility at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and the research team at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

Felicity Ballin, Evelina London research nurse said: “The students embraced the session and really enjoyed learning about the clinical trials that we run at Evelina London Children’s Hospital. The young people exceeded our expectations of their knowledge of clinical trials, especially when participating in the dummy clinical trials station. Overall a successful day that enriched the Evelina London research team’s knowledge of engaging and sparking new ideas in the next generation and also helped to ignite some young minds for the future.”

Dominic Bergin, Headteacher of The Elmgreen School, said: “Many of our students are planning careers as scientists, nurses or doctors and this day was a fantastic opportunity to meet with the inspirational people that are doing those jobs and changing lives in our community.”

Patients and members of the public can find out more about getting involved in trials by asking their doctor, visiting the Evelina London research pages, or by visiting the UK Clinical Trials Gateway, which provides useful information about how research is conducted and provides links to researchers running trials.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has launched the "I Am Research" campaign to give patients, the public and health and social care research professionals a chance to shout about how fantastic research is. They want to raise awareness of the benefits of research and the positive impact it has on people's lives. Look out for #IAmResearch on social media or visit the NIHR website to find out more.