Glasgow Science Festival: Tiny Worlds

Every year, University of Glasgow postgraduate students work with the festival team to develop brand new activities that inspire the next generation of scientists. We chatted to Jessica, Chiara and David, three PhDs students from the School of Science and Engineering.

The Group

1. Who are you and what do you do?

Jessica – I’m Jessica, a third year PhD student at the University of Glasgow. I work with Historic Environment Scotland to study sandstone decay of historic buildings.

Chiara –  I’m Chiara, first year PhD student at the University of Glasgow.  I work in the physics departmenent, where I help improving speed and quality of a special microscopy technique used to look at small animals and plants in 3D!

David – My name is David and I started my PhD at the University of Glasgow in October 2016. I am building a new type of microscope which will enable us to have a closer look into how the cells of our body function.

2. Have you done public engagement before? What made you want to get involved?

Jessica – I’ve been involved in Pint of Science and several other exhibitions. Catching people’s interest and spreading knowledge is in my opinion one of the most important tasks for a scientist.

Chiara – I had been involved in other outreach activities before, and I find it great for many reasons. It helps us learn to communicate what we do and be creative, and it is good for the community to have the chance to get involved in what we do, inspire us and maybe get inspired.

David – The science festival is my first public engagement activity. I want to get engaged because science has revealed so many exciting things about our world which I would like to share.

 3. Describe your activity to us. Why should we come along?

Have you ever wondered what a fly’s leg would look like if it was the size of a toothpick? Come and try our microscopes looking at some exciting samples! You can also test your knowledge on “tiny worlds” with our microscopy memory game. And since we are all working with microscopes ourselves, you can ask us more about how microscopy advances our understanding of the world in today’s science. We’ll show you how to build a portable microscope with just a few cheap objects that you probably already have in your house and we’ll explore with you how a small drop of water can make big things….and things big! We will have a microscopy game for the youngest as well, so bring along your whole family and have fun with us at our micro-stand!

4. This year’s festival theme is ‘Glasgow Explores’. Where would you like to explore?

Jessica – If possible, travel in time would be the coolest way to explore the past and future.

Chiara – I’d like to explore the space, being able to teleport myself everywhere I want and see what’s out there!

David – I’d like to explore the bottom of the ocean.

5. What’s the best thing about being a scientist or engineer?

Jessica – The best thing about being a scientist is constantly learning new things about how the world is held together.

Chiara – Learning and experimenting new things all the time.

David – It is still possible to explore/do something no one has done or seen before and it never gets boring.

Join Jessica, Chiara and David at Science Sunday on Sunday 18 June. Free, drop-in. For more details, visit the website.

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