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The University of Southampton

Stem Cell Mountain visits BBC Countryfile Live

Published: 5 August 2016
Stem Cell Mountain
Stem Cell Mountain

Stem Cell Mountain features at this year's BBC Countryfile Live show, teaching visitors all about stem cells.

The exhibit was conceived in partnership with the Winchester Science Centre as part of its ongoing collaboration and research. The University's Dr Jonathan Dawson and Professor Richard Oreffo sought a fun and engaging way to communicate its important research into stem cells to children and families.

Specialising in making interactive science exhibits for children, Winchester Science Centre provided its expertise to create the exhibit, which has since become one of the Science Centre's most popular.

In fact, Stem Cell Mountain is now in its second iteration due to its popularity with both the public and researchers. Having visited various festivals and events, including the University of Southampton Roadshow, the exhibit has engaged over 300,000 school children, festival goers and science aficionados across the UK. It is currently at BBC Countryfile Live, which is taking place at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire until 7 August.

Stem Cell Mountain combines the fun of a pinball machine with some key biological concepts, bringing the complex idea of stem cell potential to life. Members from the University of Southampton will be on-hand at BBC Countryfile Live to provide more information and insight from their important stem cell research that inspired the exhibit.

Stem Cell Mountain will be on show alongside other research-based activities in the University of Southampton's Bringing Research to Life marquee - stand A055.

Dr Jonathan Dawson, EPSRC Early Career Research Fellow at University of Southampton, added: “Stem cell mountain combines the fun of a pinball machine with a lively metaphor that really brings to life the big ideas of stem cell research. Visitors learn about how stem cells could be used to repair our bodies as they turn wheels to send ’stem cells' spinning down the giant marble run and pull levers to direct them towards various ‘cell-type’ destinations. It really captures the imagination about what stem cells could make possible.”

Ben Ward, Director at Winchester Science Centre, said: “We're delighted to see Stem Cell Mountain visiting this year's BBC Countryfile Live event. It's one of our most popular exhibits with our visitors, and is a perfect example of how we blend education with fun at the Winchester Science Centre - engaging children and adults alike with science. We hope everyone visiting BBC Countryfile Live over the coming days takes the time to visit Stem Cell Mountain and discover how much fun science can be."

For more information about University of Southampton's Stem Cell research, visit

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