Engage Awards: STEM

Heart and Lung Repair Shop

In her series of regular blogs around the Engage Awards, Laura Steele is looking at the nominees in each of the six categories. This time, she’s turning the spotlight on the STEM category.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is a category which always brings its fair share of stand-out research projects, and the finalists in our Engage Awards 2016 are no different. Between them they cover issues as diverse as heart and lung health, a super-volcano erupting in the heart of London, and an effort to save one of the world’s endangered species from extinction.

The Heart and Lung Shops

At Imperial College, researchers from the National Heart and Lung Institute teamed up with artists and designers to set up innovative pop-up shops called The Heart & Lung Repair Shop and The Heart & Lung Convenience Store.

Transforming empty retail units into vibrant hubs, the team developed visually captivating spaces and interactive experiences that offered an opportunity for people to talk about heart and lung health in a brilliantly accessible way. Members of the public found out about cutting edge research, asked questions, and contributed their insights.

The Turtle Project

At Queen Mary University of London, Christophe Eizaguirre has led a project to raise awareness of the plight of the turtle and save it from extinction.

Poaching in the Cape Verde archipelago has seriously undermined the viability of the turtle population and The Turtle Project combines state-of-the-art technology with hands-on education to involve local communities in research and raise awareness of the consequences of small turtle populations.

The work of the project harnesses the efforts of local people, who are encouraged to gather important data about the turtles, as well as to communicate the importance of turtles within their communities, to deliver a sustainable project with long term impacts.


In February 2017, a project led by Middlesex University will be imagining what would happen if a super-volcano threatened to erupt on the streets of Deptford. The SMASHfestUK event is an annual festival aimed at getting people – both young and old – interested in science. The project was the winner of the Engage Awards STEM category.

Each event hinges on a natural disaster and themes in previous years have been a massive solar storm and an impending asteroid collision. Festival activities include theatre plays, auditorium cabaret and variety shows, interactive science experiments and demonstrations, astronomy, comedy, art and games - all linked to the overall narrative theme.

Our Engage Awards ceremony took place on 29th November 2016 in Bristol as part of the Engage Conference. Find out more about all our finalists and award winners.

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