Shark attack! Connected Health Cities at the Science Extravaganza

Group CHC Hub

Posted on the 1st April 2019

Connected Health Cities recently had the pleasure of running the #DataSavesLives game again at the University of Manchester’s Science Extravaganza, as part of its British Science Week activities. The Science Extravaganza shines the spotlight on how science, technology, engineering and maths relate to our everyday lives, and helps to inspire the next generation of scientists with fun and participative activities.

Usually the #DataSavesLives game begins with the news that a terrible virus has spread: a highly infectious, debilitating Wonderwall earworm. But this time, our teams were made up of 10 to 14-year-olds from schools around Greater Manchester, and the virus had mutated to become even more deadly and even more annoying: our young data scientists were tasked with finding the cure to an outbreak of ‘BabySharkInYourHeadItis’. (For the blissfully out-of-touch, you can find it here.)

As with any complex health data research project, the teams were met with challenges. The teams quickly found that communication is key – if the medical researchers and data scientists didn’t listen to each other, data didn’t flow through the system fast enough. On top of this, the teams had to fight off hack attacks, and one group contended with a major data breach when a test tube was knocked over.

Most of the groups quickly overcame these obstacles and, with a bit of teamwork, managed to secure their data, beat the virus and cure the majority of patients.

The game was a roaring success: when we asked the teams to provide feedback, 165 out of 173, or 95% of pupils gave it the highest possible score. Until next time, Baby Shark.

The game development was co-funded by the University of Manchester’s Wellcome ISSF fund and the Connected Health Cities programme. The exhibition at British Science Week was funded via the University of Manchester’s Widening Participation scheme.

Want to know more about the #DataSavesLives game? Click here to see it in action.

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