Every year HMRI opens our doors to the community so they can learn more about the exciting health and medical research undertaken in our labs, clinics and research spaces. The 2019 event will take place Friday 11th October at the HMRI building in New Lambton.
With more and more people coming each year, we’re making the day bigger and better than ever! This year’s Open Day features two brand new themed rooms: Blood and Guts Central and The Brain Exhibition. Each room is designed to appeal to kids’ love of the gross and the unreal – and showcase the important health and medical research we do here in the Hunter and beyond.
An enduringly popular exhibit is The Poo Room. This interactive space gives kids the opportunity to find out how poo is made, what your poo says about you – and have the chance to actually ‘make poo’. While the gross-factor is high, the research behind the room is vital.
Blood and Guts Central is a new exhibit – and will be fierce competition with The Poo Room when it comes to ickiness. This is a moulage and simulation tent where kids can get made-up with fake wounds or bruises, and learn about the history of moulage and how it’s being used today. It’s simultaneously gross and educational.
Our gut health says a lot about us and can even influence our mental health. Speaking on this topic at one of the public seminars on the day, Associate Professor Simon Keely will explore the vital role that our digestive system (and poo) plays in our health. The theme of the session is “What goes in must come out” with molecular nutritionist Dr Emma Beckett sharing her insights into taste, what we eat and why it’s so important.
The Brain Room will feature a dazzling array of kid-friendly themed booths showcasing our research in mental health, brain cancer, artificial intelligence and Virtual Reality and so much more. This room will be complemented with public seminar talks by Professor Frini Karayanidis on The Wonders of the Brain, and Associate Professor Paul Tooney who will speak about The Mysteries of the Brain.
Kids minds, hands and bodies will be kept active with an array of activities all based around our research. And our super-exclusive Stem Girls Super Tours were so popular this year that they booked out in just one day. These special girls-only tours take future STEM leaders around the building, led by some of our leading (women) researchers. They also get hands-on and have a chance to extract DNA from a strawberry and perform a special taste experiment.
To make parking easier, head to McDonald Jones Stadium and come to HMRI via the free shuttle bus which is on a regular loop to and from HMRI.
*HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.