The EHG @ LSHTM’s Open House event
Open House is a London-wide annual event that celebrates the capital’s architecture and aims to open up London’s great buildings, especially those that aren’t usually publicly accessible, to a wider audience.
LSHTM has participated in Open House weekend for several years and normally has about 600 people attending tours of the building. However, in past years many visitors were left wondering what scientists at the school actually do. So this year the events team at LSHTM arranged a space where scientists could showcase and engage visitors in the their work.
The Environmental Health Group seized this opportunity to share with the wider public the importance of their work on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
Our stall featured a WASH quiz where visitors could learn interesting facts about water, sanitation and hygiene issues around the globe. A screen displayed several of our innovative behaviour change campaigns and we had materials available about much of our recent work. However by far the biggest attraction at the stall was the ‘Glow Germs’ activity. This is an activity that uses a special cream and an ultraviolet light to show people where on their hands germs reside. Participants then practice washing their hands, first with water alone. Under the UV light they can see that no matter how hard they scrub, water will not remove all the dirt. Participants then try washing their hands with soap and see realise how quickly and easily their hands become sparkling clean again. Not only was the activity a lot of fun but many people left the event with a completely new understanding of why hand washing with soap is so important.