Category Archives: Wellcome Trust

Food Zone Report – June 2018

Read the full report

The Food Zone was supported by Wellcome and involved six scientists.

  • Stephen models the environmental impact of livestock farming, and looks at the effect of food sharing on the sustainability of food systems in cities
  • Simran is a PhD student using design and technology to tackle the problem of food production and consumption in future cities
  • Paul is researching how to get the most from permanent grassland, including food production, supporting wildlife and reducing the risk of flooding
  • Mark is looking at Salmonella Typhimurium: how it responds to different conditions, its physical characteristics and the genes within the bacteria
  • Jenny is looking at the effects different types of fishing can have on the environment, helping make fish products more ‘eco-friendly’
  • Ali, the winner of the Food Zone, is a sports nutritionist who works with athletes to find out how foods can make you better at sports

In this zone there were great conversations between students and scientists about all things to do with food. The winner of the zone, Ali, attended nearly every live chat and made up over half of all chat lines from scientists.

 

Posted on July 17, 2018 modamy in 2018, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Heart Zone Report – June 2018

Read the full report

The Heart Zone was a primary school zone supported by Wellcome.

  • Samuel, the winner of the zone, works on new technologies for assessing the state of the heart and its arteries
  • Pankaj is a doctor and scientist, who also lectures in cardiovascular medicine
  • Lucy looks at the heart and blood vessels of unborn babies to see how they are affected by changes in their environment
  • Kate is studying for her PhD and is focusing on the shape of the heart in patients with aortic stenosis
  • Jordan processes blood samples, separating them into groups and filtering them before they are ready for testing
  • Emma programs pacemakers, monitors patients during operations and performs ultrasound scans on the heart in her work at a hospital

Students in this zone were very excited to talk with scientists which came across in the lively and fun chats. Students wanted to know about all things to do with the heart, as well as getting to know the scientists on a personal level.

 

Posted on July 17, 2018 modamy in 2018, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Healthy Cities Zone Report – June 2018

Read the full report

The Healthy Cities Zone was supported by Wellcome and encouraged students to think about how we could build healthier places for us to live.

  • Urslaan is a data scientist who makes sure databases for roads, railways and other transport are correct
  • Nicola is an environmental geologist, looking at maps and ground investigation information to test the soil for chemicals
  • Helen specialises in designing infrastructures for cyclists and pedestrians
  • Daniel, the winner of the Healthy Cities Zone, is an environmental scientist who measures air pollution within the demolition and construction industries
  • Becky teaches courses in ecology and conservation and researches how people’s actions affect wildlife
  • Andrew is an environmental scientist looking at how we pollute our environment, the impact of this influence and possible solutions

This was the busiest zone in June’s event, with the highest number of students logging in and questions in Ask. We also ran an evening chat in every zone for students to show their families the zone, and 20 students from the Healthy Cities Zone logged in from home to chat again with the scientists.

 

Posted on July 17, 2018 modamy in 2018, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Berkelium Zone Report – June 2018

Read the full report

The Berkelium Zone was a general science zone supported by Wellcome.

  • Yewande is researching the use of nitric oxide as an anaesthetic and the affect the gas has on brain cells
  • Tim is studying earthquakes and how they behave, the dangers they pose and the opportunities they offer
  • Melanie is a technician in the Biomedical Science department at the University of Sheffield
  • Hayley is a PhD student using mathematics to model WiFi signals
  • Carl is a manager at a chemical plant responsible for the quality and productivity the plant delivers
  • Alex, the winner in this zone, is studying the impact of non-native plants on small rivers and streams

Students in this zone really engaged with the scientists’ work, as well as generally about areas such as space and animals, with nearly half of all questions asked being about science topics.

We also ran an evening chat in every zone for students to access from home and show their families, increasing parental engagement with the activities students are doing in school. The Berkelium Zone evening chat was the busiest out of all the zones, with 27 students logging in from home to chat again with the scientists.

 

Posted on July 17, 2018 modamy in 2018, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Californium Zone Report – June 2018

Read the full report

The Californium Zone was a general science zone supported by Wellcome, with six scientists from a range of fields.

  • Thomas investigates the earth beneath our feet to make sure buildings and tunnels don’t collapse, and homes don’t flood
  • Hayley works in cellular pathology, turning biopsies into slides to help diagnose a patient
  • Ella, the winner of this zone, is a first-year PhD student researching how neurons talk to each other
  • David designs and builds new CT scanners for research in dentistry
  • Alison is a PhD student researching how to utilise microalgae for biotechnology applications
  • Alex is a neurosurgeon in training, performing brain and spine surgeries

Students engaged well with the scientists’ research, with one of the most popular topics both in Ask and Chat being Ella and Alex’s work with the brain. This zone was the quietest of all June’s zones as two schools with a number of classes unfortunately had to drop out at the start of the event, and we weren’t able to replace them.

 

Posted on July 17, 2018 modamy in 2018, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Climate Zone Report – March 2018

Read the full report

The Climate Zone was supported by Wellcome and specifically for students in Year 6 and Year 7. In this zone, we worked with a PhD researcher who will be analysing the language of the questions asked to find out what students think about the climate. Because of this, we asked teachers not to brief their class on the climate before taking part. We edited the questions on the profiles of the scientists to try and prompt students to think about the climate, and within chats moderators encouraged students to stay on topic.

Six scientists took part in the zone: Stephen is a Climate and Environmental Specialist for the United Nations, Stephanie, the winner of the zone, is looking for ways to improve wind turbines to make renewable energy cheaper and Rehemat is studying 50 million year old plankton fossils to see how they lived through climate change. Christopher writes computer code that generates weather forecasts, Caroline is a social scientist studying the public’s attitudes to climate change and Aileen is a PhD student looking at how fungi react to extra greenhouse gases to predict how forests will grow in the future.

 

Posted on April 17, 2018 modmichaela in 2018, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Climate Zone Report – March 2018

Enquiry Zone Report – March 2018

Read the full report

The Enquiry Zone was supported by Wellcome and was for Year 6 students to work with scientists to develop a citizen science project. The scientists involved each suggested a research idea which they refined with the students in the live chats and ASK section, and students then voted for the project they most wanted to carry out at their school.

Sakshi wanted to work with students to find out how boys and girls are different from each other, Martin’s experiment idea was to measure the breath of students and see if that could tell us how students feel during the day and Luke wanted to find out what students think about regenerative medicine and stem cells. Jennifer, the winner of this zone, proposed a project that would look at how much primary school students knew about their own bodies and Dan wanted to find out whether students were able to pace themselves during physical activity.

This was the second Enquiry Zone we have run, and this time we changed the scientists’ profile questions so they could focus on the aims and method of their experiment ideas. As with the Enquiry Zone we ran last March, the best chats were those where students had been briefed by their teacher beforehand and had had a chance to discuss the scientists’ experiment ideas before meeting them.

As the event went on, all of the scientists improved how they spoke to students within the live chats and learnt to prompt the students with questions about their projects to engage them in conversation.

 

Posted on April 17, 2018 modmichaela in 2018, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Enquiry Zone Report – March 2018

Genes Zone Report – March 2018

Read the full report

The Genes Zone was a themed zone supported by Wellcome. Yinka is studying the DNA of cows in Africa to improve the amount of milk they can produce, Stéphane is researching the effect different lifestyles have on human sperm quality and Matt is a bioinformatician making pictures to explain patterns in gut microbes. Juhi is a PhD student researching genetic causes of pregnancy complications, Gemma teaches NHS staff about genetics and how it can help them provide better care for patients and David, the winner of this zone, is a postdoctoral research fellow studying the genetics of depression.

Students were very engaged with the zone theme and over 50% of questions in ASK were about science topics, relating to all things genetics. The scientists were great at explaining things in a way students could understand and often provided videos and links to support their answers.

Posted on April 17, 2018 modmichaela in 2018, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Genes Zone Report – March 2018

Immune System Zone Report – March 2018

Read the full report

The Immune System Zone was supported by Wellcome. Sian is researching new medicines through microbial fermentation, Max (the winner of this zone) is a PhD student using gene editing to understand how white blood cells cause cancer and Lizzie works with biotech companies to help them communicate information about diseases to doctors. Francis is a post-doctoral researcher finding out how we can use a patient’s immune cells to fight cancer, Ben works in an immunology lab finding new ways to help people with arthritis and Ashlea is a PhD student studying how the immune system works and how it can go wrong.

This zone had the highest number of questions asked (897) and approved (489) out of all the zones in March’s event, with students engaging well with the topic and wanting to find out more about the scientists’ work. There was an even mix of questions about science topics, how science works and careers.

Posted on April 17, 2018 modmichaela in 2018, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Immune System Zone Report – March 2018

Americium Zone Report – March 2018

Read the full report

The Americium Zone was a general science zone supported by Wellcome, with six scientists all working in different areas. Walaa is a PhD student studying bee behaviour, Sophie, the winner of the zone, is a PhD student looking at human impact on the climate and Sarah is an air quality specialist predicting future air quality levels. Gabriel is a biomedical scientist working with doctors to find out which patients need a pacemaker, Breandan is a Geohazard Specialist working out where it is safe to build on a seabed and Adam is working on a new vaccine for malaria.

This zone had the highest number of students logging in – over 600 – out off all the zones this March. Sophie, the winner of this zone, accounted for 64% of all live chat lines throughout the two weeks.

Posted on April 17, 2018 modmichaela in 2018, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Americium Zone Report – March 2018

Curium Zone Report – March 2018

Read the full report

The Curium Zone was a general science zone supported by Wellcome, with six scientists all working in different areas. Matthew works for the Institute of Cancer research detecting cancer in blood, Kezia is a PhD student developing new solar cells and Jacque, the winner of this zone, is researching ways to increase the yields of nematodes to control insects on crops. Hazel is a geologist researching how people think and talk about geology, Fiona is a PhD student in mathematical biology finding out how our immune system can fight cancer and Daniel is a director of an environmental planning consultancy providing soil science advice.

The Curium Zone was quiet with a below average number of students logging in. This zone had a huge range of questions asked and 94% of students logged in were active in ASK, Chat or Vote – higher than the average for March’s zones.

Posted on April 17, 2018 modmichaela in 2018, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Curium Zone Report – March 2018

Cells Zone Report – November 2017

Read the full report

The Cells Zone was a themed Zone, funded by Wellcome, with six scientists for students to meet. Tom is a PhD student studying how white blood cells fight bacteria in our lungs, Paul is a research fellow studying how egg cells and embryos grow and Natasha is looking into how to use a patient’s own cells to kill their cancer. Ildiko is a lecturer in cell biology and genomics, Ester is studying how cells work together in the gut when we are healthy, and how this is altered when we get sick, and Eoin is a research fellow trying to understand how to treat our immune system when it’s not working properly.

Conversations in the Cells Zone were on topic, with students really interested in the scientists’ research areas as well working as a scientist. All of the scientists were great at explaining their work as well as the more complicated aspects of cell biology. Natasha was the winning scientist in this Zone and was also the most active, making up almost 50% of all Live Chat lines from scientists.

Posted on December 15, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Cells Zone Report – November 2017

Uranium Zone Report – November 2017

Read the full report

The Uranium Zone was a general science Zone supported by Wellcome, with five scientists working in a variety of areas. Sajid works at QIAGEN developing a test to help HIV patients manage their treatment routines, Katherine uses computer modelling to help the Home Office solve problems affecting our society and Jayne is a Hazard Management Scientist who researches decontaminants for toxic and illicit chemicals. Duncan, the winner of this Zone, is developing better ways of taking pictures inside people’s lungs with fibre optics and Anu is a PhD student researching ways to improve the way we generate energy from renewable sources.

This was a busy Zone with 93% of students active in ASK, CHAT or VOTE and there was a huge variety of questions due to the range of areas the scientists work in and it being a general science Zone. Duncan and Sajid, who came in first and second place respectively, were the most active scientists and between them made up an impressive 84% of all Live Chat lines by scientists.

Posted on December 15, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Uranium Zone Report – November 2017

Neptunium Zone Report – November 2017

Read the full report

The Neptunium Zone was a general science Zone supported by Wellcome. In this zone students met six scientists, all working in different areas. Yo is a software developer who writes code for experiments within biology and Theo works for a company that makes breath chemical detectors as a scientific writer, explaining to scientists and doctors how to use the technology in their research. Oli, the winner of this Zone, is a PhD student in environmental science studying fossils to work out the history of a threatened forest in Brazil. Nina is a geologist who has studied volcanoes and now researches materials different buildings are made from, Kerrianne is a PhD student making and testing optical fibres and Edward is a research associate in neuroscience looking at how our brain is wired up.

Chats in this Zone were lively with lots of back and forth conversations. The scientists were good at building a rapport with the students and engaging them with their subject areas. For example, after hearing about Oli’s work with plants in a chat a student said ‘I honestly didn’t think plants could be interesting until 10 minutes ago’ and that they had been inspired to study plants in the future.

Posted on December 15, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Neptunium Zone Report – November 2017

Plutonium Zone Report – November 2017

Read the full report

The Plutonium Zone was a themed Zone supported by Wellcome, specifically for Primary School students. Simonne is a biomedical scientist who tests patients’ blood to help doctors work out which medicine to give them and Senga, the winner of this Zone, is a PhD student researching ways to make plants grow better using DNA from bacteria. Pete works for a drugs company using bacteria to improve their products, James is an archaeologist studying how human brains have evolved and Jake is an applied mathematician looking into why fluid or gasses can change from being smooth to chaotic.

This Zone had a high number of questions from students in Ask about a variety of science topics, as well as the scientists’ work. All the scientists were great at explaining things in simple terms and building up a relationship with the students. Senga often talked about her ‘fake poo’ experiment as which the students found hilarious and were very interested in, and Senga often shared the experiment with teachers after the chat so students could carry it out. Senga also visited one of the schools – Doonfoot Primary – the week after the event to do the experiment with the students.

Posted on December 15, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Plutonium Zone Report – November 2017

Drug Resistance Zone Report – June 2017

Read the full report

The Drug Resistance Zone was a themed zone funded by Wellcome. Thom is a PhD student researching how bacteria produce drugs and how we can discover new ones, Sanjib is a course director in infectious diseases and also researches tuberculosis and Donna is a lecturer looking at how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. Avril is an antimicrobial pharmacist and Abid is a microbiologist doctor who treats patients with antibiotics.

This zone had the highest number of students logged in out of all the zones in June’s I’m a Scientist (539), 91% of whom were active in ASK, CHAT or VOTE. Scientists in this zone were extremely positive and encouraging towards students which made for some sociable and engaging chats. One chat in particular inspired Avril to change her twitter handle to a name the students had made up for her – ‘Avrilbiotic’.

Students in this zone engaged well with the theme, although often asked questions about illegal drugs, addiction and side effects. The scientists were still happy to answer these questions outside of their research areas as best they could, which was appreciated by the students.

Posted on July 17, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Drug Resistance Zone Report – June 2017

Epidemic Zone Report – June 2017

Read the full report

The Epidemic Zone was a themed zone funded by Wellcome. Rosie is a Consultant Microbiologist who advises other healthcare professionals about infectious diseases, Liz is a researcher who uses maths to understand more about norovirus and Christl is a Professor of Statistical Epidemiology who uses maths to study the spread of disease. Kevin is a Senior Epidemiologist working on cervical cancer and the HPV vaccine and Beccy is a PhD Student researching how to eradicate whiteflies to prevent the destruction of crops.

Lots of conversations in the zone focussed on the theme, with students showing a strong interest in infectious diseases and how they can be cured.

The scientists were great at interacting with students and a good rapport was built up, with friendly chats and conversations involving multiple scientists and students. The scientists in the zone also built up a good relationship with each other, which reflected positively in the chats. Notably, Rosie and Beccy continued to engage lots with the event even after they had been evicted. Liz, the winner of this zone, attended every single live chat.

Posted on July 17, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Epidemic Zone Report – June 2017

Actinium Zone Report – June 2017

Read the full report

The Actinium Zone was a themed zone funded by Wellcome. Samantha is an Educational Data Scientist analysing data to try and find out how students learn, Matt – the winner of this zone – is a Research Technician studying colorectal cancer and Deborah is working with robots to teach school students healthcare skills. Adele works for an engineering company working out how future buildings and developments could affect the environment and Adam is a postdoctoral research fellow currently studying venomous snakes to make new anti-venoms.

This zone was busy, with a higher than average percentage of active students and questions asked. Chats were often lively and fun, due to the scientists’ ability to easily engage with students. Matt and Adam were especially good at finding common ground with students, sharing jokes and building a rapport. They also made up nearly 75% of all activity by scientists in ASK and the Live Chats.

Students engaged with the work of all five scientists, with Matt, Adam and Deborah’s work being easy to relate to and attracting the most attention.

Posted on July 17, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Actinium Zone Report – June 2017

Protactinium Zone Report – June 2017

Read the full report

The Protactinium Zone was a general science zone funded by Wellcome. Thorrun is a community pharmacist working for Sykes Chemist, Nicolas is a Senior Lecturer in Physics and Astronomy who is studying the sun, and Helen is a science communicator for a biotechnology company that produces medicine for children. Dan, the winner of this zone, is a PhD student in chemistry studying tests for kidney disease and Amy is a research scientist looking at why people develop rare blood and bone marrow cancers.

All the scientists took an active role within the event and students showed an interest in getting to know them as people, with the highest percentage of personal-themed questions out of all the zones in June’s event. The scientists were all really friendly and good at engaging at conversations with students, within both Live Chats and the ASK section. There were a higher number of comments than the average of June’s zones, and many of these were scientists and students continuing a conversation, with other students joining in

 

Posted on July 17, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Protactinium Zone Report – June 2017

Thorium Zone Report – June 2017

Read the full report

The Thorium Zone was a general science zone specifically for primary schools, and was funded by Wellcome. Wajiha is a PhD student researching ways to make MRI scans faster, Tom is a PhD student in nuclear fusion – working out how to make a star in a box – and Rosie, the winner in this zone, is a PhD student studying how life can survive in extreme environments like inside a volcano or at the bottom of the ocean. Phil is a landscape ecologist researching ways to observe bees in flight and Chris studies wheat plants to help us grow stronger plants without disease.

This was a really busy zone with nearly 390 questions sent to scientists in the ASK section, and the highest percentage of active students out of all the zones in June’s event (96%). All the scientists were great at answering directly and tailoring their language to suit younger students. Rosie and Chris were the most active scientists, providing nearly 80% of all answers by scientists and attending lots of live chats. This meant a lot of questions were related to their work, with students asking all about space and plants.

Posted on July 17, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Thorium Zone Report – June 2017