Cell biology games & schools engagement


To engage young people with specific areas of MRC PPU research and support the curriculum through fun, hands on games in the classroom and local community settings.


  • Tom Williams, Postdoctoral Researcher in Rousseau Lab
  • MRC PPU researchers (testing and participating in sessions)
  • School of Life Sciences Public Engagement Team & MRC PPU Public Engagement Consultant (development support & identifying opportunities)
  • External teachers (curriculum guidance & feedback)
  • 10 UK-wide schools (mostly primary)
  • Delivery/outreach partners: STEM ambassadors in Scotland, STEM ambassadors, British Science Week, I'm a Scientist, Lancashire Science Festival, University of Huddersfield, MRC Festival, University of Dundee, Brightside Mentoring, DYW Ayr, University of Dundee, Angus Council.
Cell survival
Fishing game


Tom developed and published a large suite of cell biology games and resources with input from MRC PPU researchers, Public Engagement colleagues and teachers:

Tom, with support from other researchers in the Unit, has used these resources to engage young people locally in schools and at community events and pupils nationally online, including:

  • Local schools outreach: 11 schools inc. multiple visits to Fintry Primary & Baldragon Academy in Dundee, ~700 pupils.
  • Online STEM Ambassador activities: 37 activities with 7,394 participants (inc. British Science Week 2023: 8 schools,15 classes, ~400-500 people)

Key outcomes

Game tweets

Wow, so cool!”, “Your job is amazing”, “How do you tell the difference between good and bad proteins?”, “I want to play at home!”, “What do cells eat?”

Feedback from pupils

"Thank you so much Tom! All of the children really enjoyed this morning and are really enjoying the game," It has inspired them [children] to consider science careers

Feedback from teachers

Future plans

  • Working with University of Dundee Arts Masters students to provide improved versions of cell survival and cell life cycle top trumps.
  • A sport version of Cell Survival for youth clubs (funding dependent)
  • Cell Survival borrow boxes (funding dependent)
  • Sharing & engaging further through STEM Ambassadors platform and Twitter.