Opening the world of biomedical science at Monash Open Day

The world of biomedical science was opened to thousands of students on Sunday 4 August as part of Monash Open Day. With the Biomedical Learning and Teaching Building (BLTB) newly opened earlier this year, this was the first time the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) was able to showcase the state-of-the-art teaching labs and educational spaces to prospective students.

Making use of the ground level and first floor of the BLTB, the education team ran a range of highly interactive and engaging activities across all five biomedical science disciplines. Prospective students and their families were able to try their hands at painting anatomical structures, attempt to distinguish between pharmaceutical drug names and Pokémon characters, explore the world of florescent proteins and how they’re used in research, and join a round of anatomy pub quiz. A range of physiological activities were also on offer, including lung function and cognitive ability tests, as well as competitions between parents and children on the physiology exercise bikes.

 Some of the activities on offer in the BLTB for Open Day 2019.Associate Professor Mark Prescott organised the activities for the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

“This year’s Open Day was enormously successful. We were fully occupied with a steady stream – sometimes an avalanche – of visitors. I’ve never see such levels of interest and engagement from students and their parents as we saw at Open Day this year,” Associate Professor Mark Prescott said.

Associate Professor Michelle Lazarus was part of the team that organised and ran the activities for the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology.

“Anatomy is uniquely placed to be relatable: We all have bodies! To this end, the anatomy team put together ways for us all to learn about our own anatomy; from matching anatomy structures and functions, to identifying what anatomy fits where in the body. We even incorporated art with anatomical body painting,” Associate Professor Michelle Lazarus said.

“All in all, it was a great day and everyone got to learn a little bit more about their own bodies. This culminated in a pub-style quiz where participants competed for points with questions related to anatomy and developmental biology,” she said.

In addition to the activities at the BLTB showcasing our teaching and departments, biomedical science was also represented at Robert Blackwood Hall and in the Green Chemical Futures building, where staff were on hand to provide course advice and discuss the student experience, and talk to prospective students about our areas of study.

Associate Professor Liz Davis, Monash BDI’s Deputy Director of Education, spoke to hundreds of interested students at the information sessions at Robert Blackwood Hall.More activities in the BLTB, staff and student volunteers in the Robert Blackwood Hall, and crowds of prospective students and their families.

“Open Day is a fantastic opportunity for prospective students and their parents to find out about the Monash Bachelor of Biomedical Science course and get a feel for the campus,” Associate Professor Davis said.

“It was great to see so many people exploring the BLTB, interacting with our staff and student volunteers and considering a career in the biomedical sciences,” she said.

Alexandra Churchill, a second year biomedical science student, spoke at the information sessions. Alexandra said that she recalled the feeling of excitement as she attended Monash Open Day as a high school student, and that now as a second year student, she loved sharing her experience studying biomedical science.

"When I began my university adventure, I was amazed by the support we were getting throughout our studies, the professionalism and enthusiasm of our academics, as well as the array of opportunities we have available to enhance our social, professional and transferable skills,” Alexandra said.

“I hope that by speaking to prospective students I can inspire them to join us when they graduate from high school. I can’t imagine I could ever run out of positive things to say about Monash or biomedical science!" she said.

Clayton campus was visited by more than 63,000 people on Open Day 2019.

Visitors exploring the BLTB for Open House Melbourne. Images courtesy of Denton Corker Marshal and Dr Daniel Czech.

Open House Melbourne

The BLTB was also open to the public the previous weekend, as part of Open House Melbourne. Around 40 visitors took part in tours of the building, with many stating that it was their favourite location to visit on the day. Visitors expressed their surprise at the intimacy of such a large, technical building, and were thrilled to have personal insights into the BLTB from both the Monash BDI staff and architects’ perspectives.

Monash BDI academic Daniel Czech volunteered on the day and said he learnt a lot about the building from the architects.

“It was a great day made better by the lovely weather. The visitors commented on how far the student experience has come – some even said they wanted to be uni students again!” Dr Czech said.

About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.