Category Archives: 2016

What Stephen Davitt did with his prize money…

Stephen was voted the winner of the Light Zone in November 2016. Here he writes about using his £500 prize money on spectroscopy workshops.

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


Since my research area is in the field of spectroscopy, which is the colour analysis of light, I used the prize money to help buy equipment to run workshops within my university on Spectroscopy and Optics. The workshops detail the basics of optics and spectroscopy all the way up to taking measurements, investigating different light sources, and building research quality equipment with high precision optics. Along with this, the students were also able to build their own basic telescopes and spectrometers to take home.

 

The prize money form I’m a Scientist was vital for buying the telescope and spectrometer kits which were the initial equipment for the workshop’s inception. Since then we were even lucky enough to be awarded an SPIE outreach grant which allowed us to expand our scope and buy some of the more expensive bits.

 

So far the workshop has been run multiple times over the last year. It has been a great success and would not have been possible without the seed money from the IAS prize money. The full €500 was spent as part of €740 required to purchase the telescope and spectrometer kits required for the workshop.

 
Since taking part in IAS I have been very busy with many different science communication projects: I am still a dedicated member of the Physics Busking team bringing science to events across Ireland in fun …and sometimes explosive ways! Myself and another IAS winner, Claire O’ Connell, were part of a European H2020 project the ‘Do it together Science Bus’ where we toured the UK for three weeks in the summer of 2017 getting people involved in science. I have MC’d and talked at the Irish SciFest National Finals and even made a TV debut on RTÉ’s weather live programme as part of Science Foundation Ireland’s science week, to name some of my favorite bits since IAS.
 
Posted on August 22, 2018 modem in 2016, Winner Reports | Leave a comment

What Aoife Lucid did with her prize money…

Aoife was voted the winner of the New Materials Zone in November 2016. Here she writes about using her £500 prize money to purchase a renewable energy demonstration kit and a renewable energy monitor for demonstrations and events.

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


I chose to use my winnings from the New Materials Zone (2016) to purchase a renewable energy demonstration kit and a renewable energy monitor. This was used by me over the past year and will be used by my group and the School of Chemistry for future demonstrations and events. The kit allows energy to be converted (and measured) from mechanical, chemical and solar sources to electrical energy.

I’ve been lucky enough to carry out demonstrations for two groups of secondary school students at two events at my university. The two groups came to about 100 students in total. I first gave them a short lecture on the university research experience and followed this with a discussion on the practicalities and importance of renewable energies. The sessions were ended with a demonstration and mini lab using the kit where the students got to generate electricity using a fuel cell, electrolysis cell and water (which is what my research actually focuses on!) and a wind turbine and solar cell. It was possible also for the students to measure the energy being generated by these sources.

The students gave great feedback and really enjoyed the hands on aspects of the demonstrations and I plan to run similar events throughout the coming year.

Winning the competition also encouraged me to get involved with more outreach activities with the RSC and the School of Chemistry here in Trinity, including volunteering at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition for the last two years which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Overall, my experience has been fantastic and I would recommend taking part in “I’m a Scientist” to anyone considering it!

 

I spent € 450 on a Horizon renewable energy kit and energy monitor and €50 on travel for other outreach.

 

 

Posted on May 4, 2018 modem in 2016, Winner Reports | Leave a comment

What Mark Kennedy did with his prize money…

Mark was voted the winner of Oxygen Zone in November 2016. Here he tells us how he made use of his €500 to support his outreach activities.

If you’d like the chance to win funding to develop your own public engagement ideas, apply for the next I’m a Scientist Ireland at imascientist.ie/scientist-apply


What ewe looking at? Click ‘Lamby the Logo’ to listen to the podcast!

I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here was one of my outreach highlights for 2016. It was such a unique way of being able to interact with students, and is definitely the best outreach event in which I’ve participated in terms of letting young scientists ask the questions they really want answered.

I’ve used the €500 prize money to create a podcast called Science of the Lambs with one of my friends, Danny Riordan. The podcast focuses on science and technology (with a heavy emphasis on physics, since we both are doing PhDs in physics). We release the shows once a month and, so far, we’ve had 4 discussions – one on the exoplanet Proxima B, one on what it takes to get a scientific result published, one on new technology which allows us to read closed books and the latest one on the arms race surrounding artifical voices.

Creating a podcast is not a cheap project, and would not have been possible without the support from the I’m a Scientist competition. We’ve had to buy microphones, pop filters, editing software, a website, our domain name, get our theme music made, and buy some advertisements.

However, now that the capital items have been bought (mainly the microphones) we hope to be able to keep this podcast going for the next few years (we already have episodes 5-9 planned). So thanks again to everyone in the Oxygen Zone who voted for me, and to my fellow scientists for making it an excellent competition. I hope you enjoy the show!


Like what you hear? Never miss an episode by subscribing to Science of the Lambs and follow @SciLambs on Twitter for updates.

Posted on June 8, 2017 modantony in 2016, Winner Reports | Leave a comment