Students and staff stand outside Engine Shed
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Bristol-based start-up makes the invisible visible to close the science skills gap

Award-winning, Bristol-based business Interactive Scientific (iSci), in collaboration with City of Bristol College, the Engine Shed and Ufi Charitable Trust hosted an event to celebrate the completion of a project which is transforming vocational science learning.

The current reality of scientific training is that we expect learners to understand and learn about something which nobody will ever be able to see. To engage the scientific innovators of the future, we need to make the invisible visible.

The iSci Molecular Innovation Platform gives teachers, lecturers and trainers the tools to communicate complicated molecular concepts to students at all levels. Through 3D stimulations on websites, apps and virtual reality, students can better understand the challenging strand of science.

The students are given the opportunity to engage directly with the simulations and to manipulate the structures and to help them visualise them. These techniques are proven to raise students’ engagement and understanding of abstract scientific notions. 

This summer, funded by the Ufi Charitable Trust through the Ray Barnes award grant, the iSci team have been carrying out research across the science industry to identify the training gaps which appear from the influx of digital tools available in the industry.

As part of this project, iSci worked with the Applied Science and Digital Creative students at City of Bristol College to give students experience co-creating new learning concepts. The students presented their work to the judges at the event.

Rebecca Garrod-Waters, the chief executive of the Ufi Charitable Trust, said: “Interactive Scientific are phenomenally exciting in the way that they’re using technology to reimagine skills in the workplace and deliver an entirely new learning experience.”

More than 30 students have been involved in the project which has prepared them to take the next step in their careers and this new addition to their CVs and portfolios.

The College’s Student Work Placement Coordinator, Amy Archer, said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for our students to gain real-world experience which will help set them up for their future when they leave our College and look for employment.

“The support of Interactive Scientific has been brilliant as it allowed our students to devote their time over the summer break to create innovative and engaging projects and then learn how best to present these to industry specialists.” 

“We are very excited to have already confirmed with Interactive Scientific that we will run this programme again this academic year with our newest cohort of students. This is a thriving relationship which we only hope to grow across other areas of the College’s portfolio of departments and courses to benefit even more of our students.”

Students presented their work at an event at the Engine Shed with student Lauren Stone taking home the home the top prize for her efforts – a voucher to We The Curious and Friska Food.

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