The Stem Cell Mountain

Designed in collaboration with Winchester Science Centre, the Stem Cell Mountain combines the fun of a pinball machine with a powerful metaphor to bring to life the exciting concept of stem cell potential. 

Ships wheel drives cell-division to start stem cells on their journey down the mountain

2m tall marble run assigns stem cells to germ layers

7 tactile controls direct stem cell fate

22 functional cell-type destinations arranged by lineage

Sequential events,  multiple effects and    semi-determinative gulleys and switches effectively communicate biological complexity

A central archimedes screw carries marbles to the top of the run representing a stem cell in its pluripotent state

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Switches at the top of the marble run represent early fate decisions in the process of cell differentiation

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Controllable levers illustrate how chemicals, hormones and cell signals can be used to direct stem cell fate

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Tissue-specific cell destinations show how stem cells can be harnessed to make new cells for repair

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Stem Cell Mountain on the road

The Stem Cell Mountain has now engaged over 600000 school children, festival goers and science aficionados at various festivals, open days and science centers across the UK. Here is some of the feedback.

Such a simple way to  represent a very complicated thing

 

High-school student

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I once considered doing a PhD.

I didn't expect to reconsider it here!

 

Glastonbury Music Festival visitor

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Now that's how you teach science!

Science festival visitor

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The Stem Cell Mountain is one of our most popular exhibits and a perfect example of how we blend education with fun at the Centre.

Ben Ward, CEO, Winchester Science Centre

To find out more about the Stem Cell Mountain email: jid@soton.ac.uk