Dental School- Women in STEMM Schools Outreach Event

  • Lindsay Dutton (Participant)
  • Sophie King (Participant)
  • Michelle Bessant (Participant)
  • David Scott (Participant)
  • Kate Lucas (Participant)
  • Lithander, F. (Participant)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesSchools engagement


Members of Bristol Dental School participated in the university's Women in STEMM event, organised for 110 children from local schools. 
The Great Hall at the Wills building was populated with interactive stands devised by different Schools in the STEMM departments.
The dental stall was run by Lindsay Dutton, Sophie King, Michelle Bessant, Kate Lucas & David Scott. Fiona Lithander was a soabox science speaker. 
Lindsay & David talked with school kids about plaque, enabling them to view plaque samples under the microscope and talking about the different types of bacteria they could see. 
Michelle Bessant explained about her job as a dental technician and showed the children examples of crowns bridges and prosthetics and the situations you might make them. Kids could put their manual dexterity to the test by modelling a square based pyramid out of playdough. 
Sophie and Kate explained how biomaterials researchers in our school are inspired by antibacterial surfaces in nature by showing images of the cicada wing and engineered nanospikes, being developed for use in medical devices and dental implants. The implications for bacteria of these surfaces coated with nanospikes was simulated with a smooth board, a spikey board and baloons. The students were each given a balloon and asked to simulate the bacterium attempting to roll over/ colonise first the smooth surface, then the spiky one. Popping balloons created lots of laughter. 
Fiona Lithander from the Bristol Nutrition BRC was the first of the day's two Soapbox Scientists. She climbed the soapbox in the centre of the Great Hall to dispel some myths and share some facts about sugar in our diets. 
Vikki Layton Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer said the event was the “ biggest and, in my view, the best Women in STEMM Outreach event we have done to date “
Period1 Dec 2017
Event titleWomen in STEMM Schools Outreach Event
Event typeOther
LocationBristol, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionLocal


  • outreach
  • schools
  • schools outreach
  • women in science
  • women in STEMM
  • dental careers
  • careers in dentistry
  • dental skills
  • microscope
  • plaque
  • wax modelling
  • prosthetics
  • dental technician