Category Archives: Zone Reports

Neon Zone Report – November 2018

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The Neon Zone was a general zone supported by Wellcome and involved five scientists:

  • Tiernan Henry is researching how water and the Earth interact, particularly the water just below the Earth’s surface
  • Sonia Lenehan, the zone winner, studies how the brain grows in the first two years of life
  • Mossy Kelly studies how students learn physics and is also a lecturer at the University of Hull
  • Maureen Williams studies the parasites that controls the behaviour of their hosts; fish, corals and other animals
  • Bernard Leddy is a drug information pharmacist and consultant in toxicology, writing reports on drugs for lawyers

This zone was very busy in ASK with over 700 questions sent to scientists, who between them gave over 1,000 answers. Sonia and Maureen were the most active scientists, making up 90% of all chat lines between them.

Posted on January 14, 2019 modamy in 2018, WT, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Smart Data Zone Report – November 2018

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The Smart Data Zone was a themed zone supported by Science Foundation Ireland and involved five scientists:

  • Sheila Castilho, the winner of the zone, is a postdoctoral researcher, teaching computers how to translate
  • Piyush Arora is also a postdoctoral researcher, trying to make learning and searching through the internet more convenient and easy
  • Natalia Resende is looking at translation systems such as Google translate and analysis data to discover ways in which they can be improved
  • Gary Munnelly teaches computers how to read books and other text-based resources to help historians study the past
  • Dimitar Shterionov is a postdoctoral researcher at ADAPT Centre working on machine translation between different languages

Students in this zone showed a general interest in the zone’s theme, asking questions about data but also discussing more widely computers, languages and coding. Nearly a third of the questions put to scientists in ASK concerned careers and education.

Posted on January 14, 2019 modamy in 2018, SFI, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

New Materials Zone Report – November 2018

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The New Materials Zone was a themed zone supported by Science Foundation Ireland and involved six scientists:

  • Triona Kennedy works for Stryker, a 3D-printing factory making hips, knees and parts of the spine
  • Simone Iadanza designs and build small structures that trap or reflect light so they can work as small lasers
  • Kieran Joyce is making new materials that can be used in spinal surgery for people with lower back pain
  • Julia Savioli is a computational chemist who uses simulations to understand the behaviour and chemistry of different materials
  • The zone winner, Hugh Manning, researches nanomaterials, particularly nanowires to conduct electricity for display screens and touch screens
  • Emily Growney Kalaf is a biomedical engineer working on nanowires that an act like neurons to understand neurogenic and neuropathic pain

Students in this zone were particularly interested in finding out what it was like being a scientist, and over 40% of the questions in ASK were on careers and/or education topics. Hugh, the zone winner, was very active in the live chats, with his chat lines making up nearly half of all those sent by the scientists over the activity.

Posted on January 14, 2019 modamy in 2018, SFI, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Genes Zone Report – November 2018

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The Genes Zone was a themed zone supported by Wellcome and involved six scientists:

  • Remsha Afzal studies how to control our immune cells to fight disease
  • Oliver Feeney is a researcher and lecturer in bioethics, interested in the ethical, legal and social implications of new biotechnologies
  • Lisa Dwane is researching breast cancer and searching for new ways to treat this disease
  • Kieran Meade runs a research group at Teagasc aiming to study the immune system
  • Fiana Ní Ghrálaigh, the zone winner, is a PhD student aiming to understand how DNA makes our brains work differently
  • David O’Neill, who was unfortunately unable to take part, researches into how the DNA of different organisms can make an impact on water quality and wildlife conservation

Students in this zone showed an interest in the zone’s theme, asking the scientists about their research and more general biology and DNA questions. Nearly half of all questions put to the scientists in ASK were about science topics, mostly human biology. One scientist, Remsha, was very active in ASK and CHAT, making up over 40% of all answers/chat lines.

Posted on January 14, 2019 modamy in 2018, WT, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Environmental Care Zone Report – November 2018

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The Environmental Care Zone was a themed zone for primary schools, supported by Science Foundation Ireland.

  • William McCarthy is a PhD student researching how contamination gets into food and how we can stop that from happening
  • Roberto Ferrari studies how honeybees communicate with each other
  • Karen O’Neill works with freshwater pearl mussels aiming to understand the quality of the rivers they live in
  • Jasmine Headlam, this zone’s winner, studies jellyfish venom and uses computers to identify the different components
  • Chinna Devarapu builds circuits for light to find bugs in water

This was the busiest zone in November’s I’m a Scientist Ireland, with over 2,000 questions sent to the scientists in ASK. More students joined the Environmental Care Zone evening live chat than any other zone, across all I’m a Scientist zones this November.

Posted on January 14, 2019 modamy in 2018, SFI, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Diagnosis Zone Report – November 2017

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The Diagnosis Zone was a themed Zone supported by Wellcome. Shannon, the winner of this Zone, is a PhD student researching fungal pathogens, Matthew is a biomedical engineering student researching the diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases and Katie is a geneticist at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. James is working to understand why people get breast cancer and Hugh works with nanoparticle cell interactions at the Dublin Institute of Technology.

This Zone was busy and on topic, with twenty Live Chats across the two weeks and the highest number of students logged in out of the four Zones in November’s event. All the scientists were great at engaging with the students within both Live Chats and Ask, and students were interested in both their work and personal lives.

Posted on December 15, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, WT, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Energy Zone Report – November 2017

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The Energy Zone was a themed Zone funded by Science Foundation Ireland, with five scientists for students to meet. Yang is a PhD student studying combustion chemistry, Stephen is working with materials that can convert solar energy into fuel and Shane is researching ways to store more renewable energy from wind turbines and solar panels. Karla is a postdoctoral researcher trying to find ways to produce energy from organic wastes and biomass and Emma, who was the winner in the Energy Zone, uses computer simulations to find out what Ireland’s energy system will look like in the future.

The Zone was largely on topic, with students asking about ways to save energy at home, as well as interest in different energy sources and the scientists’ own research areas. This was the quietest Zone in November’s I’m a Scientist event, with a lower than average number of questions from students in ASK, and a lower than average number of students logging in.

Posted on December 15, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, SFI, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Food Zone Report – November 2017

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The Food Zone was a themed Zone specifically for primary schools, and supported by Wellcome. Yvonne is a PhD student researching whether grass-fed beef is healthier than grain-fed beef, Yannis is a chemist researching how food lipids can affect cardiovascular diseases and Gonzalo works as a meat scientist at Teagasc. Golnaz is trying to find out the source of pollution in water drains at dairy farms, in order to prevent further pollution, Elaine is researching whether milk proteins can help people, in particular those with diabetes, control their blood sugar levels and Ciara, the winner of the Food Zone, is studying the gut microbes of athletes.

The Food Zone was the busiest Zone in this event, with the highest amount of votes and questions in Ask. Students engaged brilliantly with the theme and could relate to the work of the scientists through conversations about their favourite foods and nutrition. They showed a good awareness of healthy eating, as well as issues around farming and agriculture, with well thought out questions in both Ask and the Live Chats.

Posted on December 15, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, WT, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Fluorine Zone Report – November 2017

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The Fluorine Zone was a general science zone, funded by Science Foundation Ireland. Sarah, the winner of this Zone, is a PhD student who is finding ways to generate energy from amino acids, Kieran is a PhD student working on ways to personalise our experience using different digital technologies and Kathryn is a Marine Botanist studying seaweeds such as kelp. Joanne is a microbiologist working with barnacle DNA and Chris is a computational scientist looking at climate change.

As this was a general zone, conversations were varied, and students were interested in the scientists’ individual research areas, as well as making the most of the opportunity to ask about a variety of different science topics. The scientists were all good at explaining their work in a way that students could understand and relate to, as well as answering lots of questions outside of their research areas.

Posted on December 15, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, SFI, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Smart Data Zone Report – November 2016

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The Smart Data Zone is a themed zone funded by Science Foundation Ireland. Mike works for a plant science journal where he uses data to work out how to get new audiences, Julio works with data to understand how materials work and to design new materials and Jaine looks at big data to uncover patterns which tell us why some patients react well to treatment and others don’t. Dave, the winner of this zone, creates real-time data visualisations to help deliver HIV care in rural South Africa and Annette looks at data from devices used in a hospital to see what could be changed or improved. .
This was one of the busier zones of the event, with a higher than average number of questions asked by students and the highest number of comments. Almost 90% of comments from students were from students at S N Naomh Colmain. Annette and Jaine were the most active scientists, making up almost 75% of activity between them.

Posted on December 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, SFI, Zone Reports | Leave a comment