Category Archives: Zone Reports

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

Oxygen Zone Report – November 2016

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This was a general science zone funded by Wellcome, and included five scientists working in a variety of areas. Roisin is a PhD student making tiny amounts of illegal drugs in order to track how criminals are making them, Michel studies the behaviour of soft solids like skin and the brain to find out things like how to avoid scarring when we get cut, and Mark (the winner of this zone) is a physics PhD student researching what happens when things like black holes get too close to stars. Karen is a haematologist who tests people’s blood after it gets taken at the doctors and Gavin is a PhD student researching the different interactions that happen between nanoparticles and the environment.
All of the scientists in this zone were really active in both ASK and the live chats and were fun and interesting when engaging with the students.  This zone had the highest number of answers out of all the zones in this event, with 779 given by all the scientists in the ASK section.

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

New Materials Zone Report – November 2016

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This was a themed zone funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry of which Louise, Brian and Aoife are members and included five scientists working in a variety of areas. Matthew is a lecturer in chemistry who is working on creating tartan paint through chemical reactions, Louise is a PhD student trying to build a powerful, environmentally friendly and safe battery less than 1mm in size and Conor is a PhD student studying two dimensional materials less than a few atoms thick. Brian researches how cancer cells react with nanoparticles and Aoife, who was the winner of this zone, investigates how new materials can be used for clean energy production.

Aoife, Matthew and Louise were the most active scientists throughout the event, providing detailed and helpful answers within both ASK and the live chats. This was the quietest zone of the whole event, with some students unable to take part due to the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland strike action at their schools during the first week of the event.

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

Mutation Zone Report – November 2016

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The Mutation Zone was a themed zone funded by Wellcome. Thomas is responsible for regulating the use of GMOs in laboratories and for clinical trials, Sinead is an analytical science lecturer and cancer researcher and Sebastian, who was the winner in this zone, is a researcher trying to find out why some animals can heal and regrow their bodies after an injury better than we can. Monica works in a teaching hospital working out which bacteria or virus has caused an infection and Emma is a PhD student looking at whether someone with tuberculosis has developed mutations making them immune to treatment.

Much of the zone was on topic with students asking lots of thoughtful questions, and scientists providing detailed answers. There was a lower percentage of active students than in the other zones in this event, as some students were unable to take part due to the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland strike action at their schools during the first week of the event.

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

Light Zone Report – November 2016

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This was a themed zone specifically for primary schools, funded by Science Foundation Ireland. Stephen was the winner in this zone, and is a PhD student who uses lasers to create explosions, and then studies the light given off to find out which atoms it’s made. Saoirse is an Optometrist researching short-sightedness so that fewer children will need to wear glasses and Pramod is trying to understand what super-fast lasers do on a very small scale. Moises is a PhD student studying electrons and protons and Dervil makes holograms which can be used for things like gas detection and solar power.
This was one of the busier zones in the event, with the highest amount of questions asked by students. There was also an above average amount of active students in the zone – 90% of students who had logged in engaged with the site. Stephen was extremely active during the event making up almost half of all activity from scientists.

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

Drug Synthesis Zone Report – November 2015

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The Drug Synthesis Zone was funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry for schools in Ireland and, of the scientists, Sinead, Mark, Florence and Neil were members of the Society. It was a themed zone where the scientists had a link to the processes of producing and synthesising pharmaceuticals, for example researching catalyses to improve drug synthesis, leading a team that analyses drugs during their production, or lecturing in Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

Discussion in the Zone was overall broader than the theme of synthesis, and questions from students covered many areas relating to drugs. Most of the scientists engaged well with students, especially when asked about complex issues. The final two, Florence and Sinead, accounted for two-thirds of lines of live chat and answers in ASK between them.

Posted on December 16, 2015 modantony in 2015, SFI, Zone Reports | Leave a comment