Young Scientists Journal – the world’s peer review science journal, written and edited exclusively by 12-20 year olds – held its annual STEM conference in Oxford last month – and it was a huge success! The conference took place on the 18th October 2016 at St. Anne’s College, and marked the beginning of Young Scientists Journal’s 10th anniversary year! This was YSJournal’s third annual conference, and the event provided an amazing opportunity for science students, teachers and enthusiasts to meet and share their ideas within the scientific community.
Among the inspiring and knowledgeable science communicators attending the event was the renowned Chris Lintott, Professor of Astrophysics at Oxford University and co-presenter of the BBC’s ‘The Sky at Night’. He gave an insightful talk, “The Universe Through a Million Eyes”, in which he explained how to get involved in real science, whilst also delving into how to actually contribute to the making of new scientific discoveries.
Also present as part of the diverse range of distinguished scientists attending was Kate Watkins, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, and a tutorial fellow at St. Anne’s College. In her stimulating talk entitled “Looking inside the blind brain”, Kate Watkins answered probing questions surrounding what actually happens to brain areas without visual information to process, and how this relates to their individual brain reorganisation. Her talk gave fascinating insights into how the part of the brain associated with visual functions in sighted people can also be associated with other functions, such as language, in people who have been blind from birth. Meanwhile, Sunetra Gupta gave a thought provoking and insightful talk on the links between the language of science and the language of literature, along with an overview on her research on the spread of disease. These were just a few of the many exciting and compelling talks given by the speakers at Young Scientists Journal’s 2016 conference.
In addition to the diverse range of talks and lectures which took place, attendees also had the chance to participate in numerous science communication workshops throughout the day, which were primarily centred on the theme of mass communication, getting students excited about the prospect of getting involved in the future of science. The full line-up of the day’s speakers and workshops can be found on the Young Scientists Journal events page.
Finally, students also had the opportunity to take part in poster presentations. Students from 20 schools participated in the event, presenting their research projects to the conference and displaying their posters. The research covered a wide array of interesting science topics, ranging from projects on spider genome to astronomy.
During the conference, members of the King’s Young Scientists Journal hub participated in many ways: filming of the presentations, guiding guests into the seminar rooms and answering any questions about the conference and the journal itself. All of the members wore a red t-shirt, making it easier for people to recognize who the helpers were. Roughly 140 people, including the speakers, attended to the conference. Special mention to d’Overbroeck’s College and William Perkin High School which brought most students out of all. It was a very successful day, and all the members of the King’s hub enjoyed it greatly.
Figure 3: Members of the YSJournal King’s Hub
“I was really impressed by how in-depth the researches were and how every student were very passionate about science. It was remarkable listening to the students sharing fascinating experiments that they conducted in addition to interesting facts that they discovered and researched on with the audience. I think this is a precious opportunity for students who are passionate about science to share their interests with peers and to explore more about the beauty of science.”
YSJournal King’s Hub
“Congratulations to you all on a splendid day. I realise how difficult it is organising these things at a distance, but I thought it all worked really well, and the students were tremendously impressive. Colleagues have commented to me how good it was to have the hum of excitement around the place, with the school pupils clearly enjoying themselves.”
“It was a pleasure, and great fun to be involved with. Thank you for inviting me. I thought the quality of the presentations overall was excellent, and in particular I was blown away by some of the student presentations I saw.”
“Many thanks, it was a lot of fun and I was really impressed with the questions we were asked as well as the science presented. Thanks for the opportunity.”
“Thank you for inviting us. I found the whole experience very inspiring (even if some of the children are intimidating – so young and so bright…) Lovely dinner with great company. Thoroughly enjoyable.”
“Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the conference yesterday. What an amazingly clever lot the kids are!”
Last but not least, the team would like to extend a huge thanks to the generous sponsors of Young Scientists Journal, without whom this event would not have been possible.
REPORT BY SOPHIA ZAHARA
About Young Scientists Journal
Young Scientists Journal is the world’s peer review science journal, run by young scientists for young scientists. The journal publishes research papers and review articles on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) both online and in print; written, edited and produced exclusively by 12-20 year olds across the globe. 19 issues have been published since it was founded in 2006 at The King’s School Canterbury by Christina Astin and Ghazwan Butrous. Read more at www.ysjournal.com/about-us.
For any enquires, please contact:
Christina Astin, co-founder and mentor.
Tel: 07931 526763
Alternatively, you can email Abbie Wilson, head of PR & Marketing, on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: @YSJournal www.twitter.com/ysjournal