Glasgow Science Festival 2019

Photograph of stand at Glasgow Science Festival with graph posters
5 Jul 2019

Members of the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research were among many to exhibit at this year’s Glasgow Science Festival in June.

As part of Curiosity Live at the Glasgow Science Centre, our volunteers ran a stand measuring peak flow to demonstrate lung function and asthma.

Stand activities

Peak flow readings tell us about our lung function, measuring the rate at which we can blow out air from our lungs. In asthma our airways can be restricted – the walls of the airways tighten and mucus can build up, making it hard for us to blow out air as quickly as we otherwise could.

It was a busy three days, measuring the peak flow of over 300 school children and families.

Some notable readings included ‘off-the-chart’ peak flow rates from cyclists, singers and a trombone player (highlighted in red below), as well as measuring a member of the public with only one lung (in blue) and a number of tall teenagers with very high readings (in green)!

Graphs of peak flow readings measured across the science festival
The graphs plot peak flow rate against height. Children (under 18) are plotted in orange, Adults (18+) are plotted in yellow.

Airway models helped to demonstrate how much harder it is for air to pass through inflamed airways.

See our airway models in action on Twitter

Air pollution and you

With the recent introduction of Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone, the stand also highlighted the impact of air pollution on respiratory health.

The group were showcasing research from the Centre, including the CHILL study (Children’s Health in London and Luton), which is investigating whether reducing air pollution from traffic improves lung growth and respiratory health in primary school children.

The stand was teamed with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Centre for Hydrology and Ecology, who delivered exciting activities on air pollution.

Many thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers who helped out over the Festival!

© 2015 AUKCAR