In December 2019, a group of students from the CDT visited Facebook HQ for a hands on workshop run by the Ideas foundation and the Royal Academy of Engineers. The workshop aimed to equip attendees with the tools to change the face and image of biomedical engineering through digital storytelling. In this article CDT students Sarah McElroy, Alina Psenicny, Elisa Roccia; CDT Alumna Giovanna Nordio; and CME Fellow Teresa Correia share their experience.

The instructor and four participants at the Digital Storytelling Masterclass
Learning how to edit photos

Traditionally, a storyteller is someone who tells or writes stories. In this digital age of swiping and tapping, storytelling has had to adapt a little to deliver the message. It’s important to ask ourselves why we are telling the story and to plan how to make the story digital. The Ideas Foundation, in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering and Canon Ambassador Clive Booth, opened the door to creative and innovative representation of our work as scientists and of the face and image of engineering in general. 

A lesson in lighting from renowned photographer Clive Booth
A lesson in lighting from renowned photographer Clive Booth

We learned about how to make thumb-stopping content for the audience. A hands-on photography workshop taught us about how to exploit light, angles, props and timing to create interesting images. We were also given advice on how to use words with our photos, to put the message across. Using these principles, we managed to create prototypes of images and words to inspire others about our work in the short time we spent at Facebook HQ in London, where the workshop was held.  

AI can see inside text at the top of the image. A woman is holding a tablet in front of her which shows a medical imaging device-generated picture of her bones and says #thisisengineering at the bottom, underneath the picture.
A prototype of our original idea

Following from this workshop, we hope to develop a series of images around medical imaging. We are very excited to share our work with you very soon!