Sale of straw art Christmas cards raises funds for Engage Nepal

The sale of Christmas cards made using traditional Nepalese straw art has raised more than £350 for the Engage Nepal with Science project. The cards were designed and created by Alba Abad, the Centre's public engagement team and a group of researchers from the Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology and the School of Biology.

The money will be used to purchase a tablet to use with the platform microscopes that Alba took to Nepal in March 2019.

Engage Nepal with Science is a project run by Alba Abad (JP Lab) which provides support and equipment to Nepalese researchers and teachers in order to engage local students and communities with science and contemporary research. Alba won a Centre Public Engagement Award and, with support from the Centre Public Engagement team, used the the prize money to provide training and equipment to local researchers and teachers. She is now working to identify funding to continue the project.

The overall vision of ‘Engage Nepal with Science’ is to spread the culture of engaging Nepalese communities with science and the scientific research carried out at Nepalese research centres to empower, inspire and build confidence in STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics). This project is a collaboration between the Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology (RIBB, Nepal) and the Welcome Centre for Cell Biology.

Since the beginning of 2018 we have:

  • Delivered an ‘Introduction to Science Communication and Public Engagement’ workshop for Nepalese researchers to boost their science communication skills
  • Created a network of researchers and science teachers to work together towards making learning more interactive, creative and dynamic in Nepalese schools
  • Inaugurated the Public Bioscience Learning centre in RIBB grounds with equipment donated by the WCB, a great opportunity to be in touch with real, contemporary science.
  • Helped RIBB to create and coordinate their public engagement program which for the 2019-2020 term includes delivering workshops based on the topic ‘Cells’ to 5 different schools and age groups.

Future plans:

  • Organise the Community-based science festival, Science Fun, at the end of term 2019-2020 so that local Nepalese communities become more curious, are encouraged to think in an evidence-based way and understand why we do research and its impact in our daily lives.
  • From January 2020 we aim to start working with schools from another area in Nepal, Pokhara.
  • This is a sustainable project, so for the 2020-2021 term we plan to work with more research centres and have more schools in the Kathmandu valley involved.

Twitter: EngageNepalSci

Facebook: @EngageNepalwithScience