It’s not just scientists who can leave I’m a Scientist as winners, student winners are also chosen based on their engagement with the scientists and involvement in the event.
The moderators and scientists have nominated the students who they think asked lots of interesting questions in Ask, left thoughtful comments and/or engaged well in the live chats.
And your student winners are…
Winner: mrbrains, Great Marlow School “asked a lot of good questions!”
Runners up: chrisgould, kitkat, caramelchemist, bluesapphire
Winner: nicenadia, Abbotsmede Primary School “inquisitive nature was admirable, due to the shear volume of questions asked, and her manner in the chat”
Runners up: amazingaxsa, 09stockwell
Drug Development Zone
Winner: biozak, City of London Boys School “for asking brilliant questions and interacting really well in a live chat”
Runners up: joritto98, sodiumcyanide
Food Science Zone
Winner: dom1234, Acle Academy “posted a lot of comments and seemed engaged throughout the fortnight”
Runners up: izzylutkins, annabanana123, chocolatemint151, 12ccollins
Winner: sebisepic, Mount House School “asked lots of interesting and varied questions”
Runners up: hcosby295, charlesdarwin
Medical Physics Zone
Winner: darkopsdisguised, Broadoak Maths and Computing College “submitted lots of good questions!”
Runners up: abdulh, gordonfreeman, lizziemoo
Winner: aliahana, Witton Park High School “for bravery and honesty in asking questions”
Runners up: the3rdmentalist, bkhorsemeat
Winner: u11bradshawt, Churston Ferrers Grammar School “asked lots of amazing questions that I really enjoyed answering!”
Runners up: heisenberg, lacquerhead96
Winner: iluvnibbley456, Nisai Virtual Academy “asked loads of interesting questions”
Runners up: coolscientist, juneoct2233, 54321pink54321, danylok59931
Winner: jessamy, St Andrews C of E Primary School “seemed to stay engaged throughout the event and asked lots of different types of questions!”
Runners up: 09lomash, doggies, annieg27
Winner: umera, Moor End Academy “for fantastic attitude in the live chat, engaging with all the scientists and asking them a wide range of questions”
Runners up: danielmelvin, moomooking
- – -
Well done to all of the student winners! You’ll each receive a £20 WHSmith voucher and a certificate.
We received great questions from so many students that it made it difficult to pick just one winner in each zone – thanks to everyone who took part, we hope you enjoyed it!
We’ve had two fun weeks of I’m a Scientist and we’ve now reached the end of our March 2013 event – we hope you’ve all enjoyed it! We’re pleased to announce the 11 zone winners below – congratulations to them all! And well done to our 11 runners up who’ve also done a great job at answering your questions.
Brain Zone - Jen
Digital Zone - Phil
Drug Development Zone - Jack and Tom
Food Science Zone - Duncan
Health Zone - Jen
Medical Physics Zone – Leila
Space Zone - Grant
Technetium Zone - Jon
Ruthenium Zone - Hayley
Rhodium Zone – Laura
Palladium Zone – James
2 weeks, 55 scientists, 3700 students, 178 live chats, nearly 4000 questions and hundreds of fascinating science facts – we can’t wait for the June event!
We’re coming to the end of I’m a Scientist March 2013 and today’s evictions leave just two scientists in each zone to battle it out to be crowned the winner. The scientists in third place are…
Brain Zone - Susie
Digital Zone - Alessandro
Drug Development Zone - Claire
Food Science Zone - Nik
Health Zone - Melissa
Medical Physics Zone - Dhvanil
Space Zone - Amy
Technetium Zone - Glyn
Ruthenium Zone - Jason
Rhodium Zone - Thanasis
Palladium Zone - Emma
Still lots of chats happening, and lots of fun questions and answers:
Did you know…
- Pope Francis wanted to check he isn’t drinking too much coffee:
popefrancis1 : how does coffee affect the body?
claireinness : great you could join us from the Vatican! Coffee contains caffeine which is a stimulant – so it makes you kind of zippy. Please pray for me to win
- They were designing unicorns in Palladium Zone:
ospaff : I would like a unicorn. Could you make me a unicorn?
jamesholloway : i could paint a rhino white and put it on a diet?
niallcrawford : you bring the horse, I’ll bring the traffic cone
- A drug-fuelled Olympics is not a good idea:
dfeakins : Do you think a drug-fuelled olympics where anyone could take as many performance enhancing drugs as they liked would be a great spectacle or just freaky?
jackheal : great question. Could be an interesting spectacle, but I reckon it would be damaging to sport in the long run.
Over 3750 questions in Ask
Pick of the last few days:
- Have you ever rode a seahorse or any other sea creature before?
- Do carrots improve eyesight or is that made up by adults?
- Do parts of animals have any medical properties?
- How does toothpaste work?
- Do any animals live on or in volcanoes?
Explore each zone for more.
33 scientists down, 22 left in the running – who will you choose?
Another eviction and we lose 11 more scientists from the competition – hope you’re all voting!
Brain Zone - Ben
Digital Zone - Marina
Drug Development Zone - Yalda
Food Science Zone - Rachel
Health Zone - Phil
Medical Physics Zone - Jim
Space Zone - Shawn
Technetium Zone - Debbie
Ruthenium Zone - Ed
Rhodium Zone - Nicola
Palladium Zone - Janet
The remaining scientists are still battling for the prize money, here’s what happened today:
Did you know…
- It’s near impossible to selectively breed a unicorn:
shanewarwickrocks : can you make a unicorn by ether selective breeding or ginetic engineering
laurasoul : You could try crossing horse and a narwhaal! (it wouldn’t work). Unless a horse had a mutation where one of its teeth started going the other way, or they started fighting by headbutting each other then no unicorns sorry!
- Maths could help you to succeed at playing Angry Birds:
colinmorgansbabe : What level are you on angry birds? Do you find you can apply any scientific knowledge to help you excel at this game?
amytyndall : I love angry birds! Maths is more important to win at that, as you use trigonometry (angles) to judge where to throw your bird to do most damage…
- The colour of the ocean is measured using a radiometer:
illiamarnold : how can you tell the diffrence in the colour of the sea
hayleyeversking : great question! We use instruments called radiometers – they measure light, at different wavelengths (which are basically equivalent to colours) – if you combine those different measurements you can actually make a picture that looks just like a photograph!
3500+ questions and counting
Another little taster for you…
- If you give a cow chocolate will its milk be chocolate?
- Why can’t we have see through skin so that we know what is wrong with the body?
- Could you capture a comet?
- Is it true that when you die your brain still keeps on thinking for 7 minutes?
- Could you make a pig fly?
As always, more in each zone.
22 scientists down, 33 left in the running – you decide who wins!
The first evictions have taken place and so sadly we have to say goodbye to 11 scientists as they leave the competition (although they can still talk with students in live chats if they want!).
Brain Zone - Michael
Digital Zone – Angela
Drug Development Zone – Jon
Food Science Zone – Grant
Health Zone – Jill
Medical Physics Zone – Charlotte
Space Zone – Usman
Technetium Zone – Nicola
Ruthenium Zone – Nathan
Rhodium Zone – Sandra
Palladium Zone – Simon
It was a competitive day of chats as the scientists fought to stay in the running for the prize money, here are some highlights:
Did you know…
- Miracle berries can make anything taste sweet:
kjt2000 : Whats the most interesting food, in your opinion?
racheledwardsstuart : I like the miracle berry. It turns acidic foods sweet – its really crazy! If you eat a lime after you have eaten the berry is becomes the sweetest fruitiest thing ever!
- Heads don’t really explode in space:
sylwiasci4 : why do heads explode in space
sophieholles : that rumor has come about because there is no pressure in space, but your head wouldn’t explode because your skin and bone are strong enough to hold your insides in.. the change in pressure from here to space is actually about the same as here to 10m below sea level! If you bring a fish up to the surface too quickly from reaaaally deep then its swim bladder bursts.. so you might get a barotrauma injury (like lungs expanding too quickly so it ruptures) if you went into space
Questions, questions, questions
From fried chicken and the moon to memory, the mind, tastebuds and evolution:
- If all chickens on the planet were fried and chopped up, would it fill enough bargain buckets to go to the moon and back three times?
- When someone dies do they lose all their memory when they get brought back to life?
- If a human has the ability to imagine an event in their mind whenever they want, do animals and insects have the same ability to do so?
- Could you edit my tastebuds so I couldn’t like peas?
- How confident are you that medical trials are mostly correct?
Lots more in each of the zones so do check them out.
With some scientists already voted out you’ll need to keep voting to save your favourites!
Week 2 of live chats and it’s been yet another busy day. The evictions start tomorrow so it really is your last chance to make your votes count! Lots of interesting chats today…
Did you know…
- Crabs have two brains (sort of):
goldengusman : r there any animals that have more than one brain or none at all?
benbrilot : actually yes, so great question. Go and google crab brains because crabs actually have their brain split between what’s called a dorsal and a ventral ganglion: they have two centres where nerves are gathered to communicate. Weird huh.
- Evolution can’t keep up with climate change:
mirandagoesrawr190 : Do you think the human race will ever evolve to suit all types of climate?
grantkennedy : not if we keep changing the climate at the current rate! We’ve changed things significantly since in just a few hundred years, but it takes thousands for much evolution to happen!
- Toxoplasma gondii turns rats into zombies (though pretty rubbish ones!):
charlesdarwin : Do you believe in zombie rats like in the “I am Legend” movie
philrice : Zombie rats EXIST.!!! They are infected with Toxoplasma gondii. except they are really lame zombies which are then eaten by cats.
3000+ questions approved!
A few good ones for you to take a look at:
- If time heals all wounds, then explain belly buttons
- What is the most unusual case you have come across in psychology?
- If you could take over the world, how would you do it?
- Why is your reflection the wrong way around in a spoon?
As always, head to the different zones for loads more.
Evictions start tomorrow so don’t forget to vote!
It’s day 5 and the end of our first week of chats – that means we’re half way through I’m a Scientist March 2013 and the evictions start next Tuesday at 3pm sharp. Make sure you’ve voted for your favourite or they might end up out of the competition!
Did you know…
- No-one really knows how our brains remember and forget information:
charmedvirgo : How does our brain contain all the seemingly infinite information in a finite space?
michaelcraig : good question. It’s an amazing piece of equipment. The brain is amazingly efficient at remembering relevant information and forgetting useless information. Truth is though, we dont know how it does it! A huge multi million pound study has just been set up that involves my work to find out how the brain remembers and forgets information so that we can build computers to learn and remember and store information in the same way that humans do.
- Creating human hulks would be pretty unethical:
ibrahim93 : okay heres a question. is it possible to create a stronger more powerful and faster human and that they can sustain it without any drugs or chemical intake, like a sort of mini hulk without the anger issues benbrilot : in theory you could selectively breed humans, just like you can selectively breed greyhounds or racehorses. But it’d be very unethical: imagine someone telling you who you had to be married to and have children with.
- You definitely don’t want to find this worm’s egg in your dinner:
malaj015 : What was the best disease nicola
nicolawardrop : well, the best disease…tricky question, but my favourite is a little worm. You swallow the egg in food, then it hatches in your stomach and burrows out through your stomach lining into your blood. Then it travels around your blood until it reaches your lungs, and it burrows out into your lung in the night. Then when you are sleeping, you cough up the worm and swallow it again…nasty!
Over 2500 questions asked
Here are today’s highlights:
- Does air have a weight? If so, why doesn’t gravity pull it down?
- If you zap deadly cancer cells with radiation, isn’t the radiation affecting other cells in our body which are healthy?
- Is it possible to make a real working light saber? You know, like in Star Wars?
- Can you cry underwater?
Do check out all of the other questions asked in each zone – there are lots of fascinating science facts to be discovered.
And remember, evictions next week so there isn’t long to save your favourite scientist!
Happy Red Nose Day!
As it’s a Friday, and Comic Relief, here are a few jokes we’ve heard over the week…
09lchapman : Two atoms are walking down the street. Says one atom to the other, “Hey! I think I lost an electron!” The other says, “Are you sure??” “Yes, I’m positive!” A neutron walks into a restaurant and orders a couple of cokes. As she is about to leave, she asks the waiter how much she owes. The waiter replies, “For you, No Charge!!!”
an anonymous student : Which Egyptian leader invented crisps? Sultan Vinegar!
indianbraniac : What do we do to a dead scientist? We barium!
Seeing as we’re all such good sports here, and seeing as it’s for a good cause, I’m a Scientist have decided to set a couple of charitable goals. The scientists are already sporting their red noses and we’re getting on board by asking you to retweet us on Twitter.
- If we get 100 retweets we’ll donate £50 to Comic Relief
- And if we get 150 retweets, Shane will wear a red nose for the rest of the day
- But if we get over 200 retweets the rest of the office (Rosie) will wear one
You can also make a donation here, and you should, because it’s for a good cause.
Check out the scientists noses in; Brain Zone, Digital Zone, Drug Development Zone, Food Science Zone, Health Zone, Medical Physics Zone, Space Zone, Technetium Zone, Ruthenium Zone, Rhodium Zone, Palladium Zone
We can’t believe the first week of chats is nearly over! It’s been a pretty busy day and tomorrow’s going to be hectic too. Once again we’ve picked out some of the best bits to entertain and inform you – today’s highlights include noisy shrimps, helium rain on Jupiter and… frogs.
Did you know…
- Snapping shrimp are noisy sea-dwellers:
mariatereza : what is the most intresting sound in the water
sophieholles : Snapping shrimp that live on coral reefs make really interesting sounds in the water.. they snap their claws together so fast that they create a vacuum of zero pressure, that makes a sort of air bubble. But the water around it makes it collapse really quickly and that makes a snapping sound. They use it to stun their prey and to announce their territories
- It’s impossible to travel at the speed of light:
scienzerking4life : if you go to the speed of light will you be able to see everything around you in slow motion?
edwardbovill : A very good question – but you could never travel at the speed of light. As you speed up your mass increases and as you approach the speed of light your mass goes to infinity. This means that nothing will mass can travel at the speed of light.
- Future sticky tape could be designed based on frog feet:
westfieldprimary : Could we use frog mucus to develop new glues?
niallcrawford : maybe not the mucus, but the design of the frogs feet with any liquid could make a cool sticky tape
2000+ questions – you’ve definitely been busy!
We’re on top of your questions and so are the scientists, here’s our pick of the day:
- Because Jupiter has helium rain if you go there does your voice go squeaky when it rains?
- Is it possible to develop a medicine that evolves with the virus?
- What do you predict humans will look like in the future?
- Would you say you could love a frog more than a human?
You can explore all of the questions asked in each of the different zones.
We’re getting lots of votes in so keep them coming!
It’s day 3 of the live chats and there’s no let up in the quality and quantity of questions! Interesting topics covered include blind people’s dreams, zombie invasions and whether aliens could be edible!
Did you know…
- Some people think zombies really exist:
grovez : could there ever be a zombie invasion ?
benbrilot : unlikely, but actually zombies exist according to some philosophers. A zombie is technically someone who behaves exactly like any other person, but who has no self-awareness, they have no idea that they exist or why they’re doing what they’re doing
- We can’t trust our memories:
sessess : So talking about memory, is it true that every time you remember something you’re actually only remembering the last time that you remembered it? (if that makes any sense…)
michaelcraig : Great question again. Over time are memories can change, for example if you remember something you did a year ago, each time you remember it you may add little bits and pieces to the memory, or lose little bits of it, so in a way yes you’re right the last time we remember something is the memory which we have for an event that happend in the past
- Aliens could be edible:
louisehtdd : if we found aliens, would they be edible?
amytyndall : I doubt it! They would have evolved differently. But we won’t know until we find them! Rocks are edible, they just aren’t very good for you. So aliens are probably edible, just like anything else!
Over 1500 questions approved over all zones in Ask!
The mods are only just managing to keep up with all of your questions, but there have definitely been some good ones:
- What do people that are born blind actually dream about or ‘see’ in their dreams?
- Is it possible for a human to pass an illness to an animal?
- Why are there two genders?
- If you ate not fully cooked bread would you be drunk because of the alcohol caused by the yeast?
- The big bang theory proposed that everything in the universe started from something smaller than an atom. How can you stuff everything in the universe into this?
Head to each of the different zones for more fascinating facts!
Have you got your votes in yet?
Second day of chats and we’ve had loads of great questions coming in. The scientists have been busy in live chats and answering questions you’ve left in ask. Today we’ve covered everything from diamonds raining down on Neptune to underwater volcanoes to sleeping dolphins!
Did you know…
- There’s diamond rain on Neptune:
shaphinaaa : what is the most interesting fact you’ve learnt throughout your career?
martinarcher : Scientists are full of interesting facts, so I couldn’t pick just one. But here’s an example: did you know on Neptune we think it rains diamonds!
racodk : Rains diamonds? haha, I want to go there!
- Underwater volcanoes exist:
louisekempxo : Can you get underwater volcanos?
glynbarrett : sure! they are amazingly beautiful and the lava as it cools forms amazing shapes
proscientist123 : really underseas volcanos that is stupendous
- Dolphins sleep with half their brain:
subtlemoonspirit : What is the wierdest thing you have found out about science?
charlottekemp : that dolphins sleep with half of their brain at a time so they can keep on swimiming!
A constant stream of questions
Ask is full of intriguing questions and answers, here are a few good ones:
- What is insanity?
- How deep do you think water goes?
- How can processed meat influence an earlier death?
- Would you ever consider working on the sets of sci-fi films in order to ensure scientific accuracy within the plot?
As always, you can read loads more answers in each of the different zones.
Keep the questions coming and keep voting!
It’s been a hectic first day of chats and the range of questions asked and topics covered has been huge! From video gaming surgeons to why our fingers go wrinkly in the bath, the students have uncovered some pretty fascinating stuff.
Did you know…
- Video gaming surgeons are better at operations:
isaacimogen41 : How do you think people will benifit from playing computer games
phillipwilkinson : There was a study that showed surgeons who play video games as a hobby could perform operations faster and with less mistakes! So video games can help with motor-function. So your ability to do things with your hands is the most obvious.
- Synthetic life forms may exist in the future:
kimjombamabinil : is it possible that in the future we will be able to synsthesise life?
alessandroguazzi : definetely! Someone’s working towards that! Craig Venter is the main pioneer but we’re still at the early stages: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/may/20/craig-venter-synthetic-life-form
- Stefan explains the (vague) link between his interest in bees and asthma:
rware : is there a link between your intrest in asthma and the importance of bees?
stefanpiatek : ah great question. Besides really interesting way that beekeepers become less sensitive to bee stings (which is like the opposite way that we get allergies) there isn’t too much, I just love both areas
Hundreds of your questions answered
Our scientists have already been asked hundreds of questions, here are a few interesting ones to get you thinking:
Why do we get pruney fingers?
In what language can you read the fastest?
How many different animals have been tried throughout history and now?
Do you think testing drugs on animals is right or should it be stopped?
Head to the different zones for more answers to questions you may never have even thought of asking.
We’ve had some great questions today so keep them coming – everyone is looking forward to the next live chats tomorrow, and don’t forget to starting voting for your favourite scientist to win £500!
Live chats start on Monday!
There are already lots of questions queued up for the scientists to answer in ‘Ask’ but the real fun begins on Monday when the live chats start. The scientists have been very busy filling out their profiles and we can’t wait to hear the students’ questions – hope the scientists are up for the challenge!
- Glyn in Technetium Zone has uploaded some cool pictures of his research studying dangerous bacteria and tells us all about his work in the greenhouse and the lab, and he’s not the only keen scientist in Technetium…
- …as there’s fighting talk from seafood-loving fisheries officer Debbie who tweeted: “Our zone is definitely going to be the best! we have the best schools as well”
- Grant in Food Zone (a.k.a. Doctor Bubbles) wins best profile joke – What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by the diameter of a pumpkin? Pumpkin Pi!
And don’t forget to take a look at all of our other scientists’ profiles in the different zones under the ‘Pick a Zone…’ section here.
Ready and raring to go
Yesterday lots of scientists came to our staff room drop-in session to see how the chats will work, and teachers have been getting their live chats booked in fast.
It’s going to be a very busy and exciting two weeks – can’t wait to see you all there!
Here’s a sneak peak of one of the first questions answered in the Brain Zone… What is the latest fashion in lab coats?
It’s time to announce the scientists and schools taking part in next I’m a Scientist event, running from March 11th-22nd 2013.
We were really oversubscribed with both scientists and schools this time round. 6 scientists applied for every place. There were a lot of great scientists doing fascinating research we had to turn down. In November 2012 one scientist said “I had an amazing experience and that was down to the enthusiasm shown by [the students] for Science, both weird and wonderful!”. I’m sure this event will be the same.
Schools wanted 36% more classes than we have space for. 140 teachers will be taking part with schools from Penmaenmawr to Jersey, and Montrose to the Lizard Peninsula. A teacher in November 2012 explains why she wants to take part again – “it was a really enjoyable way to ‘open’ pupils eyes to what is possible.”
Susanna Martin University of Bath I am a psychologist who investigates the use of technology and its impact within education. Michael Craig University of Edinburgh My work looks at helping people who have problems with their memory (Alzheimer’s disease) to remember more new information. Jenn Todd Jones University of Bristol I study the brain and psychology to try and understand how some people, bilinguals, can read or listen or speak in more than one language all at once – and ask the very important question, is it good or bad to be bilingual? James Stovold University of York Looking at how the brain talks to itself, so that we can then use these ideas to control robots and see how robots can think for themselves and think as a team. Ben Brilot Newcastle University I’m trying to find out why people have emotions, like anxiety, and whether other animals experience these emotions too.
Perth Academy, Perth
St Saviour’s and St Olave’s, London
The Angmering School, Angmering
West Thames College, Isleworth
Sirius Academy, Hull
Ralph Thoresby School, Leeds
Dixons City Academy, Bradford
The Royal School Dungannon, Dungannon
Great Marlow School, Marlow
Helston Community College, Helston
Bramdean School, Exeter
Garforth Academy, Leeds
The Woodroffe School, Lyme Regis
Funded by the RCUK Digital Economy Theme
Phillip Wilkinson Bournemouth University I am exploring the way video games and digital media effects our mind and emotions with aim to create fun games that make us happier, confident and improve our social skills. Marina De Vos University of Bath I work as a computer scientist to let programs make decisions on their own, so they can compose music, assist us in our daily lives or preserve buildings after earthquakes. Claudia Krehl The University of Nottingham I work in Human Computer Interaction, that means I get to play with the latest gadgets with the aim to make it easier for people to interact with their phones especially when they are multitasking on the move. Angela Marqui University of Aberdeen I’m working with companies that sell their stuff online to learn how to keep the person waiting for their stuff better informed about ‘where is my stuff’ and ‘when should I stay at home waiting for a delivery’ using mobile apps and text messages Alessandro Guazzi Oxford University I use cameras to find out how healthy people are, so that they won’t have to go to hospital anymore.
St Edward’s Prep School, Reading
Caroline Chisholm School, Wooton
Tarbert Academy, Tarbert
Pate’s Grammar School, Cheltenham
Grove School, Market Drayton
Gladesmore Community School, London
Abbotsmede Primary School, Peterborough
Downend School, Bristol
Rudolf Steiner School, Kings Langley
Sussex Downs College, Eastbourne
Longton Primary School, Preston
Hameldon Community College, Burnley
St Mary Redcliffe and Temple, Bristol
Tom Branson University of Leeds I’m modifying proteins to build nanoscale architecture and nanoobjects for drug delivery Yalda Javadi University of Cambridge Using new designer proteins to build nanomaterials that can be used in medicine. Jon Marles-Wright Edinburgh University I look at how we can use the proteins inside bacteria to do useful things for us, such as making medicines, or valuable chemicals. Jack Heal University of Warwick I make drugs that kill viruses like HIV, so that they don’t kill you. Claire Innes Ogilvy Healthworld I help make the news around new medicines – and ensure everyone from poorly patients to front-line physicians knows about them
Lampton School, Hounslow
City Of London Boys School, London
Blackfen School for Girls, Blackfen
The John Lyon School, Harrow on the Hill
Mildred Gill, Londonderry
Jersey College For Girls, St Saviour
Fitzharrys School, Abingdon
Buxton School, Leytonston
Rutlish School, London
William Brookes School, Much Wenlock
Beechfield Secure Unit, Copthorne
Brislington Enterprise College, Bristol
Rachel Edwards-Stuart Westminster Kingsway College Like Willy Wonka, I use science to try and create new food products and interesting flavours – or as someone once described me “Rachel takes the principals of Rock and Roll and applies them to flavour science” Nik Watson University of Leeds I am a food scientist who uses sound waves to study what food (like chocolate) is made of, and why the sound food makes when we eat it is important. Julie Bland University of Reading I am a cheese scientist, which means I make cheese, study it in the lab and eat cheese all day long to find how to make the best cheese. Grant Campbell University of Manchester I study bubbles in food (particularly bread), as these are cheap, versatile and non-fattening(!) ingredients that give novelty and luxury to many of the foods we eat. Duncan Gaskin Institute of Food Research Bug busting boffin fighting foodborne baddies.
Tarporley High School, Tarporley
Lathallan School, Montrose
King Edwards School, Birmingham
St. Joseph’s College, Dumfries
Acle Adademy, Acle
The Ridgeway School, Swindon
Queen Elizabeth School, Carnforth
Q3 Academy, Birmingham
Hurstmere School, Sidcup
Nursteed Community Primary School, Devizes
Willowfield Humanities College, Walthamstow
Scraptoft Valley Primary School, Leicester
Pensby High Schools Federation, Wirral
Stefan Piatek Imperial College London Asthma is a really common disease, I’m figuring out how a special protein found in the lungs switches off genes, so we treat asthma better in the future Phil Rice St George’s Hospital I have discovered how chickenpox virus has changed because of how the Moon was made and that this knowledge could lead to killing off the virus forever. Melissa Brereton University of Oxford I zap frog eggs with electricity to try and find out why the sugar in some children’s blood stays too high after they eat a chocolate bar. Jill Magee NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde I get to work with equipment that can show images of organs inside your body including your heart, lungs and even your brain! Jennifer Paxton University of Birmingham I’m a tissue engineer, which means that I’m trying to find ways to grow bits of the body in the lab so we can replace diseased or damaged organs in people and make them well again!
Bishop Douglas, East Finchley
Francis Combe Academy, Watford
The Jewish Community Secondary School, New Barnet
Mount House School, Tavistock
Colchester County High School For Girls, Colchester
Lucton School, Leominster
Thistley Hough High School, Stoke On Trent
Deyes High School, Liverpool
Overton Grange School, Sutton
Irvine Royal Academy, Irvine
Bure Park Primary School, Bicester
Trinity CE High School, Hulme
Leila Nichol St Luke’s Cancer Centre, Royal Surrey County Hospital I zap evil cancer cells with radiation! Jim O Doherty St Thomas’ Hospital Our team injects patients with dangerous radioactive liquids to study and treat their cancer Frank Soboczenski University of York My work is focused on reducing number-entry errors in medical devices. Dhvanil Karia Clatterbridge Cancer Centre / University of Liverpool I work with medical imaging physics (X-ray and stuff) and in particular; predicting outcomes of cancer treatments that use radiotherapy Charlotte Kemp James Cook University Hospital My job is to help doctors by making measurements on patients and includes putting probes into peopleâ€™s brains, sending electric shocks up their spines and helping tiny babies to start breathing when they are born.
Ashton Community Science College, Preston
Melksham Oak Community School, Melksham
South Molton Community College, South Molton
Kirkby Stephen Grammar School, Kirkby Stephen
Downend School, Bristol
Broadoak Maths And Computing College, Weston-Super-Mare
Liberton High School, Edinburgh
Funded by the Institute of Physics
Usman Kayani Kings College London I study the most powerful beasts that exist in the universe, which absolutely nothing not even light can escape from – black holes. I investigate what the black hole does and looks like near the horizon, the outer limit AKA the point of no return. Shawn Domagal-Goldman NASA I look for ways to look for aliens. Martin Archer Imperial College London Earth has a magnetic shield against the solar wind (hot gas that streams off the Sun) but this shield isn’t perfect, so I look at how things can get through and what the impact on us is. Grant Kennedy Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge I’m an astrophysicist and I work on planets – I spend my days figuring out how they were built, and what happens when they smack into each other at high speed! Amy Tyndall University of Manchester, but currently at ESO, Chile Understanding what happens when stars die, and how they create a beautiful ‘space cloud’ (also called a ‘planetary nebula’) in the process
Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School, Lancaster
Witton Park High School, Blackburn
The Urswick School, Hackney
Settlebeck School, Sedbergh
Woodkirk Academy, Wakefield
Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College, Weston-Super-Mare
Vyne Community School, Basingstoke
Nottingham University Samworth Academy, Bilborough
Queens’ School, Bushey
Wayland Academy, Thetford
Nicola Fletcher University of Birmingham Uncovering the clever ways viruses get into your brain Kathryn McMahon University of Leeds I work on how we can starve hungry cancers by cutting off their blood supply. Jonathan Stone University of East Anglia/British Geological Survey I am a volcanologist who trains up school children and adults to monitor volcanoes – turning them into citizen scientists so that they can make their environment safer. Debbie Crockard Marine Conservation Society I’m a Fisheries Policy Officer, which means I work to protect our oceans from overfishing and to make sure that there are plenty of fish and other animals in the sea so that we can keep catching and eating fish without doing to much damage to the environment Glyn Barrett Rothamsted Research I’m a Biologist, and I look at deadly bacteria that live on the food we eat, so we can kill them before they arrive on your dinner plate!
The Jewish Community Secondary School, New Barnet
Wellesley House School, Kent
Riverside College Halton, Widnes
Kirkland High School and Community College, Leven
Gateacre School, Liverpool
The Oldham Hulme Grammar School, Oldham
Backwell School, Bristol
Leatherhead Trinity, Leatherhead
Churston Ferrers Grammar School, Brixham
Carleton Endowed C.E. Primary School, Bradford
Weston, Sauk (USA)
Farnham Primary School, Bradford
Skipton Girls’ High School, Skipton
The Sutton Academy, St Helens
Sophie Holles University of Bristol Underwater sound: what does it do to fish?? Nathan Green The Health Protection Agency Who wants to stay in hospital longer than they need to? I help get people back home as soon as possible by peering in to the hidden lives of hospital germs. Jason King CR-UK Beatson Institute Every wondered if cells get worn out? I am trying to work out how they eat their broken bits to stay healthy, and prevent disease. Hayley Evers-King University of Cape Town I study the oceans from space using satellites! Edward Bovill University of Sheffield Solar panels are big, expensive and ugly – I make new ones out of special, brightly colored plastics that could be sprayed onto your roof like paint!
Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School, London
Somervale School, Midsomer Norton
Concord College, Shrewsbury
Cumnor House Boys School, South Croydon
Campion School, Leamington Spa
The Ockendon Academy, Thurrock
Nisai Virtual Academy, Stockton-on-Tees
St Peter’s Catholic Primary School, Leatherhead
Ysgol Dinas Bran, Llangollen
St John the Baptist Primary School, Fauldhouse
Tong Schol, Bradford
Roundhay High School, Leeds
Gretton Primary, Corby
Thanasis Georgiou University of Manchester By combining the thinnest materials in the world, just one-atom thick, I prepare devices which are to be used for future flexible and transparent electronics. Norman Lazarus Kings College London What did exercise ever do for me? Nicola Wardrop University of Southampton I study diseases which spread from animals to humans in developing countries. I use a combination of maps and statistics to try and understand how environmental factors (for example vegetation, rivers or forests) and living conditions can influence disease Sandra Richards Oxford University NHS Trust I chop up body parts. I also look at cervical cells under the microscope to see if a woman’s cervix is healthy or not. I also spin lots of wee. Laura Soul University of Oxford I use fossils of ancient animals, from dinosaurs and tigers to seashells and starfish, to understand how extinction and evolution happen.
Stanchester Academy, Yeovil
Wellington College, Crowthorne
Loreto St Michaels, Navan
Matthew Moss High School,Rochdale
The Priory School, Shrewsbury
Woodlands School, Birmingham
Roundwood Park School, Harpenden
Beacon Hill Community School, Aspatria
St Andrews CE Primary, Sherborne
Prior Park College, Bath
St Joseph’s RC High School, Newport
King Edward’s School, Bath
Trentham High School, Stoke-on-Trent
Sandal Endowed Junior School, Wakefield
Simon Park University of Surrey Food Bugs: the good, the bad, and the very bad Niall Crawford University of Glasgow Finding out how tree frogs feet can stick, and how we can copy it Janet Daly University of Nottingham I am particularly interested in how viruses spread between individuals and from one species to another; Iâ€™m sure you already know influenza viruses can infect people and birds, but did you know that horses get ‘flu too? James Holloway University College London I’m working on the most powerful particle-guns in the world, which we use blow apart the tiniest things in the universe! Emma Ashley NHS My job involves looking at your blood, wee and poo(!) samples that are taken by your doctor to check that your body is ticking over nicely.
Beckfoot School, Bradford
Great Marlow School, Slough
Shire Oak Academy, Walsall
Holy Trinity School, Crawley
Moor End Academy, Huddersfield
MidKent College, Gillingham
Budmouth College, Weymouth
Westfield Primary School, Woking
The Ravensbourne School, Bromley
St Patrick’s PS, Derrygonnelly
Culcheth High School, Warrington
Birchwood High School, Bishops Strotford
The Brakenhale School, Bracknell
And now there’s more good news… thanks to more funding we’re adding 2 more themed zones. This gives places to 10 more scientists and 50 classes of school students. The zones are:
Funded by the RCUK Digital Economy Theme. This looks at how we can harness the power of technology and the internet for societal benefit.
Food Science Zone
There’s still time to apply to take part in the Digital or Food Science zones. If your research fits apply by Monday 4th February at imascientist.org.uk/scientist-apply
It’s that time of the year again, and it’s come round really fast, again. I’m a Scientist is back this March 11th – 22nd during National Science & Engineering Week and we’re looking for teachers and scientists to take part.
Teachers, sign up here to take part by Monday 21st January: imascientist.org.uk/teachers
Scientists, apply by Monday 28th January: imascientist.org.uk/scientist-apply
Back before Christmas we asked teachers what zones they’d like to see, and they responded in force. We used their votes to choose the zones.
As it stands we’ll run 10 zones, as ever a mix of themed and general zones. We’re part funded by the Wellcome Trust so half the zones are biomedical. The themed zones will be:
This has gone down really well in the past. The winning scientist will also get to take part in I’m a NeuroScientist, LIVE! in April, as part of the BNA Festival of Neuroscience.
Drug Development Zone
We ran this theme back in June 2010 and teachers were keen to see it again.
Medical Physics Zone
Students love space, it’s a fact. They ask loads of questions about it in all zones! It was also the teachers’ most popular zone choice. The Institute of Physics have funded Space Zones in the past and are doing so again this March.
UPDATE: there are 2 more themed zones in March, the Digital Zone (funded by RCUK Digital Economy Theme) and the Food Science Zone (funded by BBSRC and the University of Nottingham). More about them here.
After a fun-filled 2 weeks of live chats and student questions, it’s time to say well done to the student winners in each zone!
Moderators and scientists have nominated students in each zone who asked lots of interesting questions, engaged well in live chats or left some thought provoking comments.
The winners get a £20 WH Smiths voucher and a certificate. We’ve also listed a few runners up in each zone who also asked lots of great questions.
And the students winners are:
Runner up: mfcsam1999 for about what happens when opposite cells meet.
Runner up: molineux for asking great questions about genes and showing lots of interest in the scientists’ replies.
As one scientist said:
“You all sound like budding scientists to me! Wow! Wow! That was brilliant! I’m so impressed with them all!”
That’s all folks! After 10 days of crazy, intense live chats and over 500 mind boggling student questions, it’s time to say goodbye (until next time) and reveal the winner in each zone.
Where they work
Cancer Zone Robert Insall Cancer Research UK Cells Zone Callum Johnston University of Edinburgh Genes Zone Jo Giles Cardiff University /Arthritis Research UK
Students were voting right up until the last few minutes and in some zones it came down to only a few votes.
The winning scientists all receive £500 to spend on science communication, and we can’t wait to see their wonderful ideas put into practice!
Thank you to all the scientists who took part. It’s been great fun and students really appreciate all your hard work. Student niamhh28: “Thank you for chatting with us and for all of your interesting and informative answers!”
Teachers deserve a thank you for all your enthusiasm and involvement. And of course students for asking such funny, imaginative and thought provoking questions that have got everyone thinking.
Scientist Louise W. said: “thanks for all the chat – you all had really good questions! was great talking to you all!”
After a frenzied chat with Sacred Heart School Jo said:”I actually have an adrenaline rush from trying to type so fast!!!”
Students, please remember to fill in the event feedback survey to be in with a chance to win a £20 WH Smith voucher.
And finally, a BIG thank you to our funders, the Wellcome Trust. Wellcome support the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities, and are dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health.
And then were two…
Today students voted out Mariana, Katie and Marcus, leaving just two final scientists in each zone. At 3pm tomorrow we’ll be announcing the winners, so students make sure you vote for who you want to win!
Student georgieholiday said: “everyone gave awesome answers, no one should be evicted!”
Highlights from today’s live chats include:
raphael88: didnt they try putting nose cells into paralzyed dogs recently. I remember reading that in the news
callumjohnston: yes they did, The cells from the nose are already nerve cells but hey can keep replicating because they need to be replaced (when you blow ur nose and things they get damaged) so you can put those nerve cells into the spine and they will divide and grow new connections that might help people gain more function in their legs, but its in the very early stages of development so far for humans.
dedwards1: could a symptom of brain cancer be mistaken for a symptom of a mental illness?
marianacampos: I’ve been in a science cafe once that a scientist talked about a case that the localization of the tumor made the person not think too much about their actions, so he would commit crimes without thinking twice. then he was diagnosed with the tumor, and stop doing it. But i think this is a very rare case!
manleyi26: how exactly is the cell able to get rid of RNA polymerase II?
marcuswilson: so the cell recognises that its stuck and adds a specific tag, called ubiquitin, onto it that targets it to be degraded by a big complex of proteases, called the proteasome
In Genes Zone students have also been asking what happened a second before the big bang,
Cells Zone scientists have been answering the grizzly question does your body rot after death, would it not rot in a vacum chamber or air tight room?
And Cancer Zone scientists have been helping student jackboy1999 understand stem cells.
Who’ll be next to go? Only students get to decide, so get voting to save your favourite scientist!
Highlights from live chats today include:
whatisa: what if cells were bigger and heavier
katiehowe: cells are all diff sizes, eg sperm are very small and have a tail so they can swim, and eggs are fat and round so they can sit and wait for the sperm! if they were heavier we might not be able to lmove our body as it would be too heavy!
ben14: where do dead blood cells go
michellelinterman: dead red blood cells leave your body in your poo! that is why it is brown!
busybodyscientist: if you smashed a cell like you would smash a rock, would the cell squish into a slimy thing, or would it form llots of other cells?
michellelinterman: if you physically bust a cell it would be a slimy mess
sophie7: how come sometimes we can see the moon in the middle of the day,does this mean that other countrys wich are in the middle of there night cant see it???
robertinsall: it depends on how bright it is and how bright the sun is. In africa thre sun’s so bright you can’t see the moon in the day
And in Cells Zone scientist Katie has been letting us know what age women are most likely to produce a healthy baby.
- What ingredient is it in chocolate that makes it so addictive? (1 Comment)
- Why do stars twinkle?
- Why do people like adrenaline like being scraed and going on rolllercoasters?
- Do you use animals for your experiments? :)
- How likely is it that the earth will be hit by a meteor?
- What is your best achievement so far?
- How much will your work actually benefit the public?
- what discoveries and breakthroughs have you made so far?
- what significant impact have any of you done in your feild of work? whether its an experiment or research…
- Who is your inspiration?