Friday, 24 July 2015

Summer Scientist 2015

All preparations are finished (I think!!) and now begins the countdown to Summer Scientist 2015, which starts on Monday 27th and runs through until Friday! Every summer the University of Lincoln's School of Psychology hosts the event which brings over 200 children to the university to take part in our experiments which are presented as fun games. Researchers get the opportunity to gather data to further our understanding of child development and the children get to take part in our games, play in the "Fun Zone", and graduate as a Summer Scientist!

This year is my first Summer Scientist Week (SSW) and I will be supervising the Super Shape Sorter game with the help of my student assistant Sarah, which comprises a visual search task related to the Eyelander research project. Eyelander is a computer game that encourages strategic visual searching and it is hoped that it can be used to improve vision in children with visual field loss, as this has previously been shown to be beneficial in adults. The project is a collaborative effort between the WESC foundation and the University's Psychology and Computer Sciences department. This week Tim Hodgson and myself met with Jonathan Waddington from the WESC foundation to go through the experiment in more detail, and now they've left me to my own devices to run it for the week...I hope they don't regret that decision!

The tasks, or "games", for SSW will be similar to those in the Eyelander game but with physical objects rather than a computer screen. Children have to find specific objects amongst an array of things on the table, and we'll time them so they must do so as quickly as they can! Let's hope things don't get too competitive :).

Safe to say I will be exhausted by Friday!

On a sad note, Friday also marks my last day working as a Research Assistant in the School of Psychology department. It's been fantastic, the perfect first graduate job! It's absolutely flown by and I hope to stay in touch with everybody here when I move on to postgraduate study and keep up to date on the research. Lincoln has a wonderful department and I will be sad to leave, but I must move on to my next adventure...Manchester, here we come!