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Latitude Festival

21/07/2019   Sami

Natures Dazzling Diversity and Guardians of the Gut - 2019


This year we worked with Dr Martin Taylor (UEA) and the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation (CEEC) to support their "Natures Dazzling Diversity" stand and showcase the Guardians of the Gut giant walk through gut!

Dr Taylor and his group encouraged visitors to become young explorers for the day and par take in a selection of activities to earn their young explorers badge, which they got to design themselves.

CEEC activity

Members of the CEEC team helping visitors to explore the concept of camouflage. Image credit: CEEC.

The team helped the young explorers complete camouflage and mimicry challenges in which  they had to spot 16 (very) well hidden creatures in a jungle scene and try to identify how many different species of Catfish there were in the tank.

Other activities involved exploring the different forms of skulls, identifying what species it belonged to based on its features and the importance of insects in the ecosystem. Read CEEC's full latitude blog here.

Meanwhile we also teamed up with Dr Lindsay Hall (QIB) and her team to present the Guardians of the Gut exhibit, which includes an interactive, giant walk through gut that takes visitors on a journey exploring early life microbial colonisation (the difference between c-section and natural delivery), how breastfeeding stimulates the growth of Bifidobacterium and the effect of different diets on the gut microbiome.

gut at latitude

Guardians of the Gut exhibit at Latitude



Life Without Oxygen? - 2018


This year we teamed up with Professor Julea Butt (University of East Anglia) and her team to deliver our "Life without oxygen" stand which explored different forms of energy and their inter-conversion, the energy for star jumps and how bacteria gain energy in anaerobic environments.

Activities included the use of virtual reality headsets with which visitors could get up close and personal with the protein responsible for electron transfer from the inside to the outside of the bacterium Shewanella oneidensis to understand how microbial fuel cells work, creating imaginary creatures and their planets, and observing a digital thermometer powered by electricity producing bacteria. 

Latitude 2018

Left: Prof Julea Butt exploring microbial fuel cells with visitors, Right: Getting crafty with anaerobic creations


Leafcutter Ants And Their Antibiotics - 2017


The SAW Trust paired up with UEA researchers from Professor Matt Hutchings group to create an exciting interactive stand for children at Latitude festival to learn about microorganisms, different places they can be found, and why they are important for us.


UEA Tom Mclean presenting at Latitude

Tom Mclean (UEA) presenting with SAW at Latitude

Latitude music festival started out in 2006 with around 6 000 attendees and has since grown to attract more like 25 000 revelers.  One of the key components facilitating the festival’s success has been the diversity of avenues on offer to enjoy. On top of great music you are able to sample a diverse range of comedy, theatre, dance, film and literature. The festival therefore attracts a wide array of people and is very family friendly, with lots of activities families can enjoy together.

The festival puts a lot of effort into providing a fun, educational and creative kids zone well suited to the outreach style of SAW.




The Power Of Plants - 2016


Latitude is one of the largest and most exciting dates in the festival calendar as it welcomes over 30,000 visitors each year to Henham Park, Suffolk.

bath bombs

Traditional uses of plants - making bath bombs!

This year we teamed up with OpenPlant to deliver our stand, entitled "The power of plants" which led visitors on a journey looking at traditional uses of plants, how plant selective breeding has produced the food crops that we recognise today, tracking the evolution of our relationship with plants through science to introduce the synthetic biology approach, and some of the modern uses of plants and algae that bio-engineering enables.

Some of our stands most well received activities included pigment extraction and making lavender bath bombs, a pairs game to match ancestor species to modern varieties and infiltrating tobacco leaves to explore how scientists introduce new DNA into plants and discover how vaccines are made!

To hear more about the activities on our stand head over to the OpenPlant website.