Category Archives: 2015

Ageing Zone Report – November 2015

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The Ageing Zone was funded by the Physiological Society, of which Peter and Siana were members. The scientists involved were working in a range of areas related to ageing processes including the effect of exercise on ageing, what happens to the immune system, dementia, the physical fitness of over 65s and studying how mice age.

The Zone was focused on its theme and was very busy in ASK, where over 1000 questions were submitted and over 400 approved. Students asked questions about many aspects of ageing, the research of the scientists, and about science as a career. This zone saw lots of discussion in the comments of ASK, and the final two scientists, Sara and Richard, engaged strongly throughout. Richard gave more answers (283) than any other scientist in November’s zones.

Posted on December 16, 2015 modantony in 2015, Physiological Society, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Extreme Pressure Zone Report – November 2015

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The Extreme Pressure Zone was funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, and the research of Jack, Craig, Giuditta and Flavia was funded by the organisation. The concept of extremely high pressure was involved in each scientist’s background, such as Giuditta’s research using it to warp magnets, Craig’s work looking at atoms under high pressure and Sheona simulating the action of plate tectonics and the earth’s mantle.

Popular topics in the zone were the research areas of each scientist, as well as questions about the scientists opinions on personal issues. The live chats in the zone were busy and all the scientists did well to engage in some very fast-paced chats. Between them, the final two of Jack and Giuditta contributed 60% of both lines in live chat and answers in ASK.

Posted on December 16, 2015 modantony in 2015, STFC, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Heart Zone Report – November 2015

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The Heart Zone was a themed zone funded by the Wellcome Trust, and Michael and Loan do research with the Trust. The scientists looked at areas such as the genetics of heart disease, stem cells involved in heart repair, blood vessel development, and how fat damages the heart. This was one of the busiest November zones in the live chats and also saw over 1000 questions submitted by students in ASK.

The heart was the strong focus of the zone, with student’s especially keen to find out about heart diseases and treatments. The scientists also talked about their research and what they get from doing their work. Cristina, in particular, engaged strongly in ASK and live chats, in which Praveen also worked hard to connect with the students.

Posted on December 16, 2015 modantony in 2015, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Spectroscopy Zone Report

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The Spectroscopy Zone was funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry, of which Baljit, Jesus, Arlene and Michael were members. All the scientists used types of spectroscopy in their research or work, for instance in detecting explosive compounds, in forensic chemistry, or to analyse the light from distant galaxies.

The students in this zone were interested in the research of the scientists and picked up on the details in their profiles, leading to varied discussion of careers in chemistry as well as how they each used spectroscopy. All scientists communicated well with the students and Jesus, the zone winner, engaged strongly throughout. He attended all 19 chats, often as the sole scientist, and contributed a third of the zone’s answers in ASK, as did Baljit.

Posted on December 16, 2015 modantony in 2015, RSC, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Osmium Zone – November2015

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The Osmium Zone was funded by the Institute of Physics. It was a general science zone where some of the scientists taking part had all previously studied physics but were now in roles outside of traditional academia and research that still required the science skills they had learnt. For example, Aaron, who has an undergraduate degree in physics, is a communications officer for the Royal Academy of Engineering, Keith now works for the National Nuclear Laboratory as a diplomat at the British Embassy in Tokyo, and Abbey is a mechanical engineer at Renishaw PLC.

Popular themes with students were the varied careers of the scientists, and different areas of physics, both related to these careers and on broader topics. The live chats were often busy and Natalie did particularly well in them, contributing 1,178 lines in total, the most of any scientist in November’s zones. Both Natalie and Aaron put special efforts in to answering ASK questions, often leaving detailed replies with links to further resources.

Posted on December 16, 2015 modantony in 2015, IOP, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Rhenium Zone Report – November 2015

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The Rhenium Zone was a general science zone funded by the Wellcome Trust. The scientists were from a variety of backgrounds including the immune system of worms, making molecules for use in nanotechnology, promoting evidence based medicine and physical activity research, detecting radiation levels and investigating the genomes of viruses.

This zone had the highest rate of active students in November and 95% of the students who logged in used ASK, did a live chat or voted. Popular topics in the zone reflected the research of the scientists, as well as more general questions about chemistry, biology and physics. Of the scientists, David and Nicholas engaged particularly well throughout, not just in the high level of answers and live chat but also in the quality of their responses, often to questions outside of their expertise.

Posted on December 16, 2015 modantony in 2015, News, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Tantalum Zone Report – November 2015

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The Tantalum Zone was a general science zone funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council. Four of the scientists, Monique, Carsten, Ashley and Bernard were connected to this organisation, either as users of its facilities and data, or funded by its grants. The scientists varied backgrounds included building particle accelerators, firing lasers at proteins, modelling galaxy clusters, developing plant-based biotechnology and improving the safety of steel.

This was the busiest of the November zones in terms of questions from students, and over 1200 were submitted. The popular topics in the zone reflected the research of the scientists, and many were physics related, ranging across subjects from sub atomic to galactic scales. Notably, Monique contributed nearly 40% of the answers, whilst zone winner Ashley was the most active in live chats.

Posted on December 16, 2015 modantony in 2015, STFC, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Tungsten Zone Report – November 2015

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The Tungsten Zone was a general science zone for primary schools, funded by the Wellcome Trust. It featured five scientists from different backgrounds, between them covering the immune system, how the climate affects marine life, the brain cells of mice, the structure of metals and bone development. The students were interested in all these areas and other popular topics were space, animals, dinosaurs, the human body, and personal questions about being a scientist.

The scientists in this zone put a lot of effort in to engaging with the students in both ASK and live chats. It was notable that a majority of the chats were attended by 3 or 4 scientists and there was a good team atmosphere throughout the zone.

Posted on December 16, 2015 modantony in 2015, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Colour Zone Report – June 2015

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The Colour Zone was a primary school zone funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). The theme of the Zone was colour chemistry and Lynn, Kevin, Jade and Andrew were members of the RSC. Despite being one of the zones with fewer students in June 2015, the ASK section of the Zone was especially busy, with above average levels of both questions asked (1160) and comments left (72).

Students asked questions about colour and the research of the scientists, but also about broader general science topics such as space and the brain. There were also a number of questions asking about the scientists’ personal lives and opinions. Some of the live chats were led by the teacher taking questions from the class, meaning they were less lively, but very focused and on-task. The winning scientist, Jess, put a lot of effort into engaging with the students in ASK and the live chats, and was rewarded with victory.

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Posted on July 21, 2015 modantony in 2015, RSC, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Electromagnetic Zone Report – June 2015

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The Electromagnetic Zone was funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and involved four scientists, Miranda, James, Freya and Daniel, whose work was supported by the research council. The research of the scientists encompassed a wide range of uses for the electromagnetic spectrum, from treating cancer to encrypting data. As such, questions in the Zone related to many different areas of physics. Although the zone had fewer questions than most of the zones in June, the live chats were the busiest of all the zones and the attending scientists did well to engage with sometimes challenging classes.

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Posted on July 21, 2015 modantony in 2015, STFC, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Extreme Force Zone Report – June 2015

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The Extreme Force Zone was a themed zone funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). It involved five scientists whose work was supported by the STFC and was related to the fundamental forces of nature in extreme situations. The topics discussed in the Zone were focused around physics and related strongly to the research carried out by each scientist.

It was the one of the busiest June zones and both ASK questions (550 approved) and the live chats were extremely busy. This high level of engagement from the students was matched by most of the scientists in a competitive zone. For example, Steven, Lidunka, and Jillian each answered between 200 and 300 questions each and the scientists evicted early in the competition continued to attend the live chats.

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Posted on July 21, 2015 modantony in 2015, STFC, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Health Zone Report – June 2015

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The Health Zone was a themed zone funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Biochemical Society. The scientists involved were working in a range of different health areas including heart attacks, drug delivery, cancer cells, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and respiratory illnesses.

The Zone was very busy in ASK, and well over a 1000 questions were submitted during the event. Students asked questions about a wide range of health topics, human biology, the research of the scientists, and about science as a career. The majority of the scientists engaged well with the Zone and in particular the winner, Andy, attended nearly every live chat, contributing nearly half of the total lines.

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Posted on July 21, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Hormones Zone Report – June 2015

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The Hormones Zone was a themed zone part-funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Society for Endocrinology and four of the participating scientists (Saffron, Partha, Craig and Amy) were members of the Society. The zone was very focused on its theme and there was a relatively high number of answers from the scientists (816), resulting in each question receiving two answers on average.

Popular topics in the zone were sperm, muscle and diabetes. It was notable that Laura attended all but one live chat, sometimes as the only scientist present, and she dealt very well with some very busy situations.

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Posted on July 21, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Pharmacology Zone Report – June 2015

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The Pharmacology Zone was a themed zone part funded by the Wellcome Trust and the British Pharmacological Society, and the five scientists participating were members of the Society. It was a sixth form only zone and had the lowest number of registered students of the June Zones, but the highest number of schools (16).

The questions in the Zone were focused around pharmacology, chemistry and careers. The live chats in the Zone were calmer than a typical zone and during these Laura, Richard and Vedia in particular engaged very well with the students. Overall, there was a high level of productive conversation in the Zone on the theme of pharmacology and scientific research in general.

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Posted on July 21, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Polymers Zone Report – June 2015

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The Polymers Zone was a themed zone funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and Thomas, Ruhina, Rose and Anne were themselves members of the RSC. It was one of the quieter June zones and questions from students were a mix of those on polymers and broader aspects of chemistry.

The scientists were relatively equal in the number of questions they answered in ASK, whilst in the live chats Thomas, the zone winner, was the most active. The live chats varied in their pace and focus on the subject, with some being fast-paced and on-topic, whilst others were calmer or focused more on the students finding out about the personalities of the scientists.

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Posted on July 21, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Hafnium Zone Report – June 2015

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The Hafnium Zone was a general science zone funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). The Zone involved five scientists whose work was supported by the STFC, covering areas from neutrinos, to neuroscience, to computer programming to lasers. Question topics in the zone were very varied, reflecting the diverse research areas of the scientists.

It was the busiest of the June zones (521 active students) and consequently had the most questions approved (563) and the most live chats of any zone (23). The scientists worked hard to match this high level of engagement, with nearly every live chat attended by at least 3 scientists. The personalities and good humour of all the scientists were evident throughout the event, in both live chats and ASK.

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Posted on July 21, 2015 modantony in 2015, STFC, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Lutetium Zone Report – June 2015

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The Lutetium Zone was a general science zone comprising of five scientists working in a variety of fields from big data about theatre audiences to hydrogen production, to respiratory disease. This zone was one of the largest in June involving 446 active students who had nearly 500 questions answered on a very diverse range of topics, both related and unrelated to the scientists’ work.

The scientists did well to match the enthusiasm of the students with the final two, Jonny and Paul, both answering over 250 questions each. The scientists also did well to connect with individual students in the fast-paced live chats, even when facing a high volume of questions.

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Posted on July 21, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Thulium Zone Report – June 2015

Thulium

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The Thulium Zone was a general science zone for primary school classes. It featured scientists from a wide range of backgrounds, covering astrophysics, influenza viruses, cleaner energy, neuroscience and genetics. The students asked questions about all these subjects, and more, in what was a consistently busy primary zone with well above average levels of questions (nearly 1000) and energetic live chats.

Ryan, who won the zone, missed only one live chat and contributed over half of the total amount of lines written by scientists. The other scientists were also dedicated throughout the event, for example Claire took part in live chats whilst at Glastonbury music festival.

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Posted on July 21, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Ytterbium Zone Report – June 2015

Ytterbium

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The Ytterbium Zone was a general science zone funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry. At least five members of the Royal Society of Chemistry take part in different general science zones throughout the year. In these zones the participating scientists come from a variety of backgrounds. For instance, in the Ytterbium Zone there were scientists spanning linguistics, bacterial proteins, parasitology, supercomputing and radioactive waste disposal.

This wide range of subjects gave the students a chance to ask questions across many areas of science. The scientists in this zone were notable for excellent attendance in live chats, with the majority of chats involving 3 or more scientists.

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Posted on July 21, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Terbium Zone Report – March 2015

TerbiumThe Terbium Zone contained the most schools of any zone. It was a general science zone that was run as part of a study organised by the Institute of Physics, which investigated gender behaviour during the event. Philip, Angeline and Shona contributed nearly all the answers to questions, and Philip, who won, also typed a third of all live chat lines. The topics covered were quite varied, reflecting the diverse background of the scientists.

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Posted on April 15, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Sustaining Health Zone Report – March 2015

Sustaining HealthThis zone included scientists whose research followed the theme of the Wellcome Trust’s ‘Sustaining Health’ strategic plan. This scheme aims to bring together different disciplines researching how to improve the health of the growing global population, resulting in a zone consisting of scientists from varied fields, including plant archaeology, bacteriology and water purification.

Students asked many questions referencing these areas, and the top three scientists engaged strongly in both ASK and CHAT. This made it one of the most focused zones during March, and 92% of students asked a question, voted or attended a live chat. The Zone winner, Sam, in particular was very active in live chats, providing 39% of the scientists’ activity across the 18 live chats.

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Posted on April 15, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Particle Physics Zone Report – March 2015

Particle Physics

The Particle Physics Zone consisted of scientists whose research ranged from designing electromagnets of accelerators, to analysing data from the Large Hadron Collider, to computer modelling of quantum interactions.  This zone was one of the most focused of the themed zones in March, and questions covered the whole range of particle physics, testing the scientists’ knowledge regularly. The top three scientists were very competitive, and the winner, Ollie, attended all but one of the live chats.

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Posted on April 15, 2015 modantony in 2015, STFC, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Molecules Zone Report – March 2015

Molecules

The Molecules Zone was a themed zone that included scientists illustrating the diversity of chemistry. Their backgrounds ranged from drug development, to alternative fuels, to researching novel chemical reactions. This zone was one of the most active during March and the scientists did well to keep up with the 334 approved questions and engage with the students during busy live chats.

The number of comments left in ASK (89) was nearly twice the average for March (45). The 338 votes cast was also above average for I’m a Scientist. Question topics in the Zone were not purely focused on chemistry and this resulted in the feeling of a general science zone.

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Posted on April 15, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Medical Physics Zone Report – March 2015

Medical Physics

The Medical Physics zone had the most students of all the zones and the most live chats. It was run as part of a study organised by the Institute of Physics, which investigated gender behaviour during the event. This meant that double the usual number of classes was signed up for this zone. The scientists who took part were all involved with imaging and treating patients using MRI or radiation therapy. This was a competitive zone where all scientists contributed a similar level of answers and each attended many of the increased number of chats.

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Posted on April 15, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Materials Zone Report – March 2015

Materials

The Materials Zone was a themed zone run for primary school students with funding from the Royal Society of Chemistry. The chemists taking part worked in a variety of areas related to different materials, such as colour inks, plant plastics and computers using transition metals molecules. Nearly every student that registered was active on the site with 99% using ASK, CHAT or VOTE. Questions and topics in the zone were much broader than the theme as the students used the opportunity to ask the scientists questions on many different areas of science in addition to materials, and the scientists enjoyed the challenge.

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Posted on April 15, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Light Zone Report – March 2015

Light

The Light Zone was a themed zone featuring scientists associated with the Science and Technologies Facilities Council. After a quiet start it became one of the busier zones, and it was one of the most topic-focused zones during March, with questions about many different aspects of light. There were also a lot of quirky questions for the scientists to answer and this zone had two particularly engaged scientists in Hugh and Ed. During live chats, Ed was responsible for more lines than three of the scientists put together.

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Posted on April 15, 2015 modantony in 2015, STFC, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Immune System Zone Report – March 2015

Immune System

The Zone was one of the busiest during March, in which 699 questions were submitted and 373 were approved, both the highest number out of the March zones. It was also the most focused zone, and the students were really interested in what the scientists could tell them about their research and their daily lives.

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Posted on April 15, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Holmium Zone Report – March 2015

Holmium

The Holmium Zone was a general science zone and one of the busiest during March, with a very high percentage (92%) of the 444 students active on the site. Many of the participating schools registered multiple classes resulting in one of the largest zones. The students cast the most votes of any March zone (430) and there were a high number of comments left on the scientists’ answers.

The scientists were researching a variety of subjects, including patterns in nature, materials for lasers and computer modelling water, and this diversity was reflected in the questions students asked. There was variation in how much the scientists engaged but Zena was consistently well engaged, and she and Frank both only missed one live chat during the two weeks.

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Posted on April 15, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Green Chemistry Zone Report – March 2015

Holmium

The Green Chemistry Zone involved nine schools and a total of 407 students. The scientists were researching new ways to reduce the environmental impact of industrial processes, from finding alternative fuels to making materials from sustainable sources. The live chats in this zone were busy and Jo, Sankar and Sarah engaged really well in these, with Sarah continuing to attend them after being evicted. It was one of the least focused themed zones for March, resulting in it feeling more like a general chemistry zone.

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Posted on April 15, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Genes Zone Report – March 2015

Genes

The Genes Zone was one of the most focused zones during the March event, with many discussions on the topics of genetics and DNA. A very high proportion of students (93%) were active on the site, the number of comments submitted was above average, and the ratio of approved questions to those submitted was high at 56%.  The scientists were mostly excellent in attending chats, with nearly all the chats including at least three scientists.

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Posted on April 15, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Evolution Zone Report – March 2015

EvolutionThe Evolution Zone was a primary zone run as part of a University of Reading research project that is working with primary schools to create effective strategies for teaching evolution. In line with the project aims we ensured that the zone included scientists with and without a religious faith and asked students additional survey questions on this and other themes addressed in the research.

Popular topics in this zone were animals and the process of evolution, and the live chats were very busy, with the average chat producing 458 typed lines, well above the average for March (331). Thad and Thomas between them accounted for the majority of both the answers in ASK and lines of live chat.

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Posted on April 15, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Erbium Zone Report – March 2015

Erbium

The Erbium Zone was a general science zone with a high number of participating students (458) compared to the average for March (383) spread fairly evenly across the schools taking part. It had both the most questions submitted and the most lines per live chat across the March zones, and the scientists did well to keep up, with nearly all live chats being attended by three or more scientists. Imogen and Tom were particularly well engaged, accounting for well over two thirds of live chat lines.

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Posted on April 15, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Dysprosium Zone Report – March 2015

Dysprosium

The Dysprosium Zone was a general science zone featuring five scientists from varied backgrounds who answered questions on a wide range of topics covering biology, chemistry and physics. Dysprosium Zone had the most active proportion of students out of the March zones with 94% of the registered students chatting, sending in questions and voting. The live chats were especially busy, containing an above average level of typed lines. The winner, James Pope attended every available CHAT during the event.

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Posted on April 15, 2015 modantony in 2015, Zone Reports | Leave a comment