Invisible Spectrum - Engaging Minority Communities in Science & Cancer Research

For Science Week 2020, supported by SFI, POI co-developed a programme of events with two minority ethnic community groups in Ireland: a Bangladeshi community group, and an Arabic Muslim community group. Invisible Spectrum included online workshops and a children’s art competition, aimed at increasing STEM engagement within these minority communities. 

At this community-focused multi-lingual event, members of each community group met scientists working at the cutting-edge of cancer research in Ireland. Participants discovered how doctors decide what treatments to give to cancer patients, and how cancer research helps them to decide. Participants also learned about cancer screening and how to be aware of cancer symptoms, with a translator and an Irish Cancer Society nurse on hand to respond to any queries or concerns.

Watch the video below to see Bangladeshi community member and POI researcher Dr. Arman Rahman speak about his experiences.




Please click the link below to find out more about these events



Bangladeshi Community group – Tuesday 10th November 10am 




Arabic Muslim Community – Thursday 12th November 10am 



Children’s Art Competition: When Science and Art collide!

In conjunction with the online workshops, POI organised a Children’s Art competition to get the whole family involved. 

Science means being curious about the world around us. We asked community members to use their creativity and create a piece of art inspired by science. They could take inspiration from the themes, images and videos we provided, or think outside the box and let their imagination run wild!

You can see some of the winning entries below.

শিশুদের চিত্রাঙ্কন প্রতিযোগিতা: যখন বিজ্ঞান এবং শিল্পকলা একবিন্দুতে মিলিত হয়
বিজ্ঞান মানে হোল আমাদের চারদিকের সবকিছু নিয়ে কৌতূহলী হওয়া।  
আমরা চাই ছোট্টমণিরা তোমরা তোমাদের সৃজনশীলতা দিয়ে বিজ্ঞান দ্বারা অনুপ্রাণিত হয়ে একটি ছবি আঁকবে।
এই অনুপ্রাণের জন্যে নিচের বিষয়বস্তু, ছবি এবং ভিডিও গুলি দেখতে পার. অথবা নিজের মনের মাধুরী মিশিয়ে একটি ছবিও আঁকতে পার.


 !مسابقة فنون الأطفال: عندما يصطدم العلم بالفن

العلم يعني أن تكون مهتمًا بالعالم من حولنا. نريدك أن تستخدم إبداعك وتصنع قطعة فنية مستوحاة من العلم. احصل على بعض

 !الإلهام من السمات والصور ومقاطع الفيديو أدناه ، أو فكر خارج النطاق ودع خيالك ينطلق



Bangladeshi Community Group - Winners of Under 6 category.


 Bangladeshi Community Group - Winners of 6-11 years category


 Bangladeshi Community Group - Winners of 12-18 years category


 Arabic Muslim Community Group - Winners of All Age categories




Below are some of the themes, images and videos that we provided for inspiration




What does a cancer cell look like? 

একটি ক্যান্সার সেল দেখতে কেমন হতে পারে? 

كيف تبدو الخلية السرطانية؟

Cancer cells can look very different, depending on what type of cancer they come from and what kind of method scientists use to see them – like all of our cells, they are very small so can’t be seen without equipment such as a microscope. Cancer cells are different to normal cells because they grow very fast. All cancer cells have a nucleus (the round part in the middle) surrounded by the cytoplasm. Scientists can grow these cells in the lab, and even see them move while they grow! 

1750wx568h_Gallery of inspiration_cancer cell


My body is amazing!

 কি আশ্চর্যজনক আমাদের শরীর ? 

   !جسدي مذهل

From your head to your toes and everything in between, your body is an amazing feat of science! It is also uniquely yours! Did you know that no-one else in the world has the same fingerprints as you? You also have a fingerprint inside your body, that only scientists can see – this is called DNA, and it makes you who you are. DNA holds the instructions for every part of your body, telling it to grow straight or curly hair, or to give you green or brown eyes.

1750wx528h_Gallery of inspiration_my body


What does a scientist look like?

 একজন বিজ্ঞানী কেমন দেখতে হতে পারে?

  كيف يبدو العالم؟

Who do you see when you think about a scientist? A man with white frizzy hair and glasses? Scientists are all around you, and you could be one too! Scientists explore the world around them, observe and wonder about things, and conduct experiments to test their ideas. A scientist is someone curious about the world – someone like you!

1750wx596h_Gallery of inspiration_scientist


How to submit your entry

  • Ask your parent or guardian to take a good-quality photo of your artwork.
  • Email this to with the subject 'Art Competition and your Group name' by Sunday 1st November
  • Include the following information:
  • Your name
  • The group you are affiliated with (Bangladeshi Community group or Arabic Muslim Community)
  • Your age category (Under 6, 6-11 years, and 12-18 years)
  • Your postal address to allow us to send you a prize!
  • One entry ONLY per person
  • Attach the photo of your artwork
  • A photograph of you with your artwork (optional) - by sending us this you consent to its use on our website and social media - for further information, please read our data policy.

For some inspiration follow these links to videos that contain information on the themes:

What does a cancer cell look like?

My body is amazing! 

What does a Scientist look like?