The Museum uses its range of expertise and specimens to promote the Life Sciences to communities outside King’s College and especially to local schools with which it has special links.
The Museum also runs special lectures and workshops for teachers as part of their continuing professional development.
Pupils and staff come to the museum for tours, practical workshops, lectures and seminars that all make use of the Museum’s huge variety of specimens. Lively discussions are part of the Museum visit and pupils enjoy the opportunity to get hands-on experience of the specimens.
Sessions for pupils have included:
- Microscopy – a consideration of the principals of light and electron microscopy with use of museum slides for practice in using a microscope.
- Limbs, Levers and Locomotion –the physics of simple levers and how various vertebrate limbs are adapted to create high force or high velocity.
- Natural Selection – Darwin’s theory of Evolution through Natural Selection as illustrated by a variety of specimens in the Museum.
- Animal Athletes – run a spart of the ‘Scientists in Sport’ workshops organised by the School of Biomedical Sciences in association with Glaxo SmithKline.
Outreach to the wider community
The Museum is visited by potential students and their parents and other groups by arrangement. A small group of artists regularly come to the museum to depict specimens in different media.
In the summer of 2011 the Museum was involved in a local community scheme to produce a temporary urban ‘Pop-up’ Physic Garden in a derelict site near to the Guy’s Campus of King’s College.
Photographs of some of the Museum’s Pharmacy Herbarium specimens were included in the garden. The Museum also hosted sessions on plants of medicinal interest and their products in which the Professor of Pharmacognacy at King’s College discussed the uses and abuses of plant materials and how medications such as pills were made from plant material. These sessions were open to the public (with prior booking).