What Sophia Pells did with her prize money…

Sophia was voted the winner of the Nuclear Zone in March 2019. She used her £500 prize money to teach students about the role of nuclear physics in medicine.

If you’d like the chance to win funding for your own public engagement work, apply for the next I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here: https://imascientist.org.uk/scientists

I have used the money to build a moving model of a SPECT scanner to teach students about the role of nuclear physics in medicine. I initially planned to build the model out of Lego but found it was cheaper and easier to use 3D-printed components. The model is powered by Rasperberry Pis and Arduinos so also teaches students about computing.

I take the model to schools either as part of ‘Speed Networking’ events where students walk between tables and see demonstrations or I combine the model with a presentation to teach the class about nuclear physics and it’s applications in medicine.

I had planned to use some of the remaining money to also print some tumour and radiopharmaceutical models to teach students about choosing the right radioactive atoms and drugs for different types of cancer. Unfortunately, the extra models still haven’t been printed- the 3D printers we use were donated to help print ventilator and PPE parts and they’ve been returned now but need servicing before we can get back to using them.

Hopefully, we can get those done soon. There is also another PhD student who would like to create a model of a PET scanner to go along with the SPECT scanner, so we may use some of the money for that.

The model has been to 3 schools, (two class talks of about 30 pupils and one interactive day with about 80) and an open day for patients at the Christie hospital in Manchester with around 100 attendees. Several events have unfortunately been cancelled due to covid. Hopefully, I’ll be able to take it into schools again soon!

Posted on July 23, 2021 by in Winner Reports. Comments Off on What Sophia Pells did with her prize money…