The British Film Institute (BFI), with partners Cinelive, received a £30,000 Wellcome Trust People Award to run immersive science events across the country as part of the Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder Season. The project is called the ‘Midwich Experiment’ and enlists the expertise of several neuroscientists, including Cambridge PhD students and CamBRAIN members: Sally Jennings; Katie Manning; Andy McCombie; Deniz Vatansever and Madeleine Walpert.
The ‘Midwich Experiment’ uses John Wyndham’s novel about a village infiltrated by extraordinary children, The Midwich Cuckoos, as theatrical immersion for an educational experience. Cinelive provide the theatrical immersion by teaching local secondary school students to act the part of ‘cuckoos’ and ‘villagers’. The scientists then teach the key stage 3 audiences about their expertise in electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Some students pose as journalists and film proceedings so they can learn about filmmaking, from BFI experts. In this way, the ‘Midwich Experiment’ is an engaging and educational experience for all of the students involved.