If you’re anything like me, you like to discuss the things you’re passionate about. In my case my passion is science, particularly my research on tracking nanoparticles in the body. After all, who wouldn’t love to talk about huge lasers and technology that could improve the lives of cancer patients?! I’m very keen to talk to school children about my research so that they can find out some of the amazing things you can do with Physics – I never had a scientist visit my school when I was younger, so it took me a long time to really make my mind up about what to study at University. I’d like to help the next generation of scientists by showing them just how exciting research can be.
This is why I jumped at the chance to take part in ‘I’m a Scientist Get me out of here’ – it gave me the opportunity to reach more schools than the ones I’ve had time to visit in the South West of Great Britain. For instance, without this competition, there’s no way I could have talked about my work with pupils in Scotland, as I did on the final chat session of the competition. Before the whole event kicked off, I knew roughly what I was getting into, having read about the competition online. However, reading and doing are two very different things! The live chats were utterly frenetic – I haven’t typed so quickly in years! I found myself needing to have two computer monitors – one for the chat window, and one to find resources like pictures and articles that would help broaden the students’ understanding. The imagination and enthusiasm brought by the school pupils was infectious. The questions asked of me were often completely off-the-wall, stuff I’d never have considered before, and they gave me the chance to really think deeply about my subject. The whole experience has been incredibly rewarding.
None of this would have been possible without the sterling efforts of the indefatigable moderator team, I’m indebted to their skills and dedication to this event. I found myself checking into the staffroom chat more and more frequently as the competition progressed, as they’re a fun bunch to chat to, especially when other scientists dropped by. It’s a shame we weren’t able to meet up at the celebration event after the winners were announced, but I’m confident that the mods were able to compensate for the absence of the scientists who weren’t able to attend.
I will surely miss chatting with the other outstanding scientists in my zone: Peter, Keith, Abbey and Aaron. Aaron and I were the two finalists, and he put up an amazing campaign, amassing staunch support for #teamAaron. In the end, I pipped him to the post and so I must send my deepest thanks to everyone who voted for me and supported #teamNatalie! I couldn’t have done it without you all 🙂
Watch this space for updates on what I will achieve with the prize money. I am very excited to be able to give lots of school children some 3D printed adapters for smartphones, to turn their cameras into microscopes!
Well done to everyone who was involved in this competition – it’s been really fantastic!
Don’t forget that Physics is awesome 🙂