07 Jul 2010 00:00:00.000
How do children learn? It’s one of the most basic questions we can ask about the human mind, but one of the most difficult to answer. Each year the School of Psychology and the Learning Sciences Research Institute at The University of Nottingham host an event which attempts to answer it — and academics are now on the lookout for children aged between four and 11 to help them.
The 2010 Summer Scientist Week takes place from August 16 to 20 in the Exchange Building on Jubilee Campus. Child volunteers and their parents are asked to spend half a day at the event, playing different games that help the researchers understand how we learn and how our brains develop. There are also fun activities such as computer games and face painting to keep children entertained.
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Research projects this year include ‘Millions of Marbles’, which looks at how children learn about the meaning of numbers, and ‘Eye Spider!’ which looks at how quickly children anticipate actions by monitoring their eye movements.
This is the fourth year that researchers have run the event, with numbers of child volunteers increasing year on year. At the 2009 event an average of 62 children took part in each of the 11 studies. Results from these projects contributed to journal articles, grant applications and PhD projects.
“Young children’s minds are rapidly developing and they are constantly learning about the world around them,” said researcher Dr Camilla Gilmore. “These projects help researchers to understand these processes and how we can build on them to help children learn. The Summer Scientist Week is also a great opportunity for families to visit the University for a fun day out and to find out about some of the University’s research.”
The event is always popular with the children taking part and their parents — many return year after year. Around 250 volunteers are expected to take part this August.
All of the studies will be run by experienced researchers and have been approved by the University’s ethics committee. This year the Summer Scientist Week is supported by an Annual Fund Grant from The University of Nottingham Alumni Association.
The activities, at the Exchange Building on Jubilee Campus, will run from 9.30am to 12.30pm, and 1pm to 4pm, each day of the week. Parents and/or guardians must accompany their children to the session. Advance booking is required. For more information, a description of the research studies or to book a half-day place, contact the Summer Scientist team on 0115 846 7930, or visit www.summerscientist.org
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.
The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.
Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.
More information is available from Camilla Gilmore on +44 (0)115 846 6516, firstname.lastname@example.org