Lincoln High School Year 9 students had the opportunity to pair up with a Lincoln expert and get a taste of scientific research to get them excited about the subject.
The school’s annual Adopt-a-Scientist programme has been going for more than 20 years and has been run from 2019 by teacher Tahlia Whiting.
The enrichment programme students are matched with a scientist from universities and research institutions and mentored through a mini-project.
They brainstorm what they want to study, come up with an aim design an experiment, collect results , and then figure out what the results mean and how they relate to the real world.
Then they write it up, make a display board of their results and give a three-minute verbal presentation
Its aim is to get them to allow them you to engage with real science, real scientists and real-world opportunities, “ to get a taste of what real research is like and get excited about science”..
Lincoln University sports scientist, Professor Mike Hamlin, worked with the students on “if a simple agility test can be altered in different environments”.
“I find the children’s inquisitive minds stimulating and inspiring. So it’s a two-way street for me when I take a group of young scientists on this programme, the children get to use my knowledge and experience and I get to see science in action with all its flaws and problems but also its fun and intrigue,” he said.
Student Joseph Furlong said it had been a really good learning opportunity, “and I hope it continues so other students can experience it.”
“I enjoyed the break from regular school work, going out into the field and doing experiments, working on things that are relevant and happening right now.”
Other Lincoln staff involved included:
• Mike Bowie (Degradability of commonly used plastics compared to their biodegradable alternatives with Samara and Molly),
• Racheal Bryant (Bovine bullying behaviour with Ella and Joseph)
• Bernard Newman (Big bang theory – testing the combustibility of household powders with Luca and Shayna)
• Adrian Paterson and master’s student Brittany Graham (What bait do different types of pests prefer? with Ophelia and Emma).