LifeLab is a science education intervention designed to change young peopleā€™s attitudes and behaviour towards their own health, and the health of their future children, through a hands-on, science-oriented teaching package. LifeLab has been developed since 2008 by researchers from the SouthamptonĀ Education School, the Faculty of Medicine, and the Mathematics and Science Learning Centre. LifeLab draws on these researchers’ findings and combines them with research evidence from elsewhere to raise teenagers’ awareness and interest in the science underpinning health issues, and make positive changes to adolescent health-related attitudes. LifeLabā€™s aim is to help achieve reduction in the likelihood of developing chronic health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, asthma and some cancers by raising young peopleā€™s awareness of health through an exciting educational experience using modern technology at a hospital based laboratory classroom. Our primary focus is on science for health literacy in relation to lifestyle-relatedĀ non communicable diseases.

LifeLab works in close partnership with LENScience in Auckland, a collaboration that was strengthened further through the awarding of funding from the BUPA Foundation to carry out an international evaluation of the intervention in both locations. LifeLab has also gained funding from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) for evaluating the impact of the LifeLab programme on pupils over the period of 3 years.

We have a number of funded research projects running as part of Lifelab. These include:

RelatedĀ publications:

Grace, Marcus and Bay, Jacquie (2011) Developing a pedagogy to support science for health literacy. Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, 12, (2)

Grace, Marcus, Woods-Townsend, Kathryn, Griffiths, Janice, Godfrey, Keith M., Hanson, Mark A., Galloway, Ian, Azaola, Marta Cristina, Harman, Kerry, Byrne, Jenny and Inskip, Hazel M. (2012) Developing teenagers’ views on their health and the health of their future children. Health Education, 112, (6), 543-559. (doi:10.1108/09654281211275890).

Byrne, Jenny, Speller , Viv, Dewhirst , Sue, Roderick, Paul, Almond, Palo, Grace, Marcus and Memon, Anjum (2012) Health promotion in pre-service teacher education: effects of a pilot inter-professional curriculum change. Health Education, 112, (6), 525-542. (doi:10.1108/09654281211275872).

Grace, Marcus, Woods-Townsend, Kathryn, Byrne, Jenny, Christodoulou, Andri, Griffiths, Janice, Hanson, Mark A., Inskip, Hazel M. and Godfrey, Keith M. (2013) Science for health literacy: itā€™s never been so important. Education in Science, 252, 16-17.

Woods-Townsend, Kathryn, Christodoulou, Andri, Rietdijk, Willeke, Byrne, Jenny, Griffiths, Janice and Grace, Marcus (2015) Meet the scientist: the value of short interactions between scientists and students. International Journal of Science Education Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, 1-25. (doi:10.1080/21548455.2015.1016134).

Woods-Townsend, K., Bagust, L., Barker, M., Christodoulou, A., Davey, H., Godfrey, K., Grace, M., Griffiths, J., Hanson, M. and Inskip, H., 2015. Engaging teenagers in improving their health behaviours and increasing their interest in science (Evaluation of LifeLab Southampton): study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial. Trials, 16(1), 372

You can find the latest news and activities on our LifeLab blog here.

If you would like more information about Lifelab then contact Dr Kathryn Woods-TownsendĀ or Dr Marcus Grace.