• Question: what would you do with the prize money and how would it help you in later life?x

    Asked by ellabastinx to Alastair, Emma, Hywel, Keith, Vicki on 18 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Emma Carter

      Emma Carter answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      Hi Ella,

      I’d like to make a series of 5 minute mini-documentaries explaining some science and engineering concepts in a fun way. I’d try and use as many different sports and stunts as possible to make it more interesting. Not sure how it would help me in later life – it would be fun to look back though on and something to show my grandkids – lol

    • Photo: Alastair Sloan

      Alastair Sloan answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      Hi Ella

      Well in my interview part of this site I have said that I would buy a videocam/webcam and media software to produce short films of the work in my lab to make available to the public and to you in schools. This will help us tell you what we are doing and why and get your feedback on our work and your opinions – make you part of the work. How will it help me in later life, well it will help me interact with the public and hopefully educate, excite and engage the public which I enjoy doing

    • Photo: Vicki Stevenson

      Vicki Stevenson answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      A lot of people don’t really know what scientists do – they often assume that all scientists permanently wear lab coats and never come out of laboratories! TV makes the situation even worse because scientists in films are always about to blow up the world (either because they want to or because they’ve made a huge mistake!). These sort of ideas put people off science subjects without ever finding out the types of jobs they’ll be missing!
      I’m one of the organisers of “Discover!” which is a Saturday club running activities and visits to places like Aberthaw power station and British Airways Maintenance Centre! One of the activities I help out in is helping students to obtain images from beautiful mineral samples like calcite, quartz and even meterorite! Each of the students receives a t-shirt with an image they designed themselves! We work with Professor Richard Weston who developed the technique and is now selling material printed from his own images to Liberty of London! I’ve uploaded the image I had on my t-shirt this year! Other activities include building a prosthetic hand and using facilities in Cardiff which control a telescope in Hawaii!
      Unfortunately this club can only take 30 people at a time – I’d like to buy 2 video cameras so that the students who attend the club can make a film about their experiences which will be available on the web for people who can’t come in person!

      This won’t particularly help me later in life, but I hope it will help lots of other people!

    • Photo: Keith Brain

      Keith Brain answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      My plan is to use the money to extend a scientific outreach programme we have using music to introduce concepts in my field of work: autonomic neuroscience.

      In collaboration with a group of composers, we’re working on a new project that aims to engage with autonomic responses through music – the plan is to compose some original pieces of music (which might include multimedia and dance) and fuse these with scientific presentation at a performance venue. We have two venues lined up (pending the support of a sponsor …!), one in Birmingham and one in London. However, we’re also building a web site associated with this project, which will be officially launched in late 2011. We have secured a web domain name (don’t tell anyone – it’s not launched yet), with some bare bones. We’ve already budgeted for an adult-directed site, but I’d really like to extend this project to enagage with schools too – with the help of your votes!

      How would this help me in later life? Well, a big part of my job as a University academic is public engagement, and this would really help me to gain experience in communicating science better. This would help me to focus on work with schools … I do feel that this part of my communication needs a bit of work … you might have noticed that my sentences are too long, and that I use too many technical terms … (wrist slapped) … I should get some pointers from your science teachers!

    • Photo: Hywel Vaughan

      Hywel Vaughan answered on 18 Jun 2010:

      Hi Ella,
      I would spend the prize money on setting up webcasts and video blogs for the project, so that everyone can see. 🙂 This would allow people to follow the progress and actually get involved with the team, so that you don’t have to wait for a news article or story to find out what’s happening, you can see it happening live.
      It would also mean that people could ask questions (like right here) to members of the team and get them answered. With the internet and a little bit of technology, we can break down the barriers that exist and let everyone engage with our land speed record attempt. 😀
      As to how it would help me in later life, it would mean that we could get more attention to the project and achieve our goals of inspiring a new generation – who knows how that could help me in later life – the possibilities are endless! 😀