The group are involved in a number of projects that explain pollination and the relationships between plants and animals to a wider audience. We have been involved in the development of a computer game to design flowers for particular animal preferences, and Beverley gives talks on flower development and pollination to a variety of non-specialist audiences. We have also developed an exhibit to teach young children how pollination works. We have produced a giant flower, into which children, dressed as bees, are encouraged to crawl in a search for nectar (sweets). When they leave the flower they discover that they are covered with pollen (glitter). Please contact Beverley if you would like to discuss an outreach activity.
How flowers use a touch of bling to woo the bees
Beverley Glover's lab were part of an interdisciplinary team presenting a display at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 5-10 July 2011. "How Nature Dresses to Impress" was presented by students and post-docs from the Glover lab, along with colleagues from the groups of Professor Ulli Steiner and Professor Jeremy Baumberg, both in the Department of Physics and the Nanotechnology Centre. The display showed how nature uses structures to generate colour, particularly in plants but also in animals. The team used a live bumblebee display, a jungle exhibit, a nano-block colour game, giant bubbles and a range of butterflies and flowers to explain the principles behind structural colour.
Over 6 days, 12000 visitors came to the Exhibition, and How Nature Dresses to Impress was very popular with members of the public and journalists. Parts of the exhibit will continue to be on display at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, the Cambridge Science Festival, and the Botanic Garden's annual Festival of Plants.