Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Muhammad Rasheed - Summer STEM Virtual Work Placement Student - Weekly Reports

 

   After the success of last year's Virtual Research Placements we decided to run it again in 2021! 

All students have been asked to provide a weekly update on their experience - please see below to see what Muhammad has been up to so far! 

Week One:

"Work experience this Summer Holidays with CGL was a great experience really Enjoyed it! At first I had an introduction meeting with Paul and Kimberly where I got told what I will be doing for this project with a project timeline of when everything will take place. Later, we had a meeting for my Remote Desktop setup where I had to do all my work and they setup my profile. Paul gave me a very detailed training where he taught me how to load datasets into Holebase. I learned how to load data and how you can use QGIS to check attributes of each datasets. He gave me a file with Datasets so I can load them to Holebase too. I also loaded some WMS datasets which was quite interesting as I got told that some of these datasets are Publicly available on websites like Defra. After, we had a project progress meeting where I presented my work I had done to Paul & Kimberly. It was an amazing experience working with Paul as anywhere I needed help he was there ready to support me-really helpful! Loading Datasets was fairly a repetitive task meaning that I was doing the same thing again and again therefore I think for future students there should be more involvement. However, overall the Project was really good and kept me busy with work on Summer Holidays." 

- Muhammad Rasheed

Friday, 20 August 2021

Isabel King - Summer STEM Virtual Work Placement Student - Weekly Reports

 

   After the success of last year's Virtual Research Placements we decided to run it again in 2021! 

All students have been asked to provide a weekly update on their experience - please see below to see what Isabel has been up to so far! 

Week One:

"On the 26th of July, I began my two-week remote work placement with the Surrey Ion Beam Centre through SATRO. The aim of the project was to produce a video storyboard and poster based on the ion beam analysis techniques available at the Surrey Ion Beam Centre. The video storyboard would consist of a voice-over, images and then an explanation of how the images are to be animated. The storyboard could then be turned into a video by a professional company and used as publicity for the Surrey Ion Beam Centre. My target audience was other A-Level students studying STEM subjects.

 After the first week, I was required to do a mid-work presentation covering: why I had chosen my topic, my plan, review of the first week (was I on track?) and my next steps. At the end of the two weeks, I presented my poster and storyboard to fellow students and supervisors on the placement.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and found I improved and gained skills in lots of new areas, including summarising difficult concepts simply and in my own words, and the ability to use keywords to search for relevant information and papers. I also gained skills in using Paint (a software that I had not previously used) and using PowerPoint’s drawing tools. Doing two presentations of my work also further improved my presentation skills and the clarity of my explanations.

I had a virtual meeting each morning with my mentor which was really helpful for any questions I had and to give me guidance, especially at the start of the project.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my remote work placement and would like to thank the Surrey Ion Beam Centre, Pierre Couture (my mentor) and SATRO for giving me the opportunity!"

- Isabel King

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Nya-Therese Halliday - Summer STEM Virtual Work Placement Student - Weekly Reports

In April SATRO took the unprecedented (and sad) decision to suspend the Research Programme for this year due to COVID-19. We asked all our providers for a 'day in the life of' summaries to give the students a flavour of the many types of roles that are available in the professional environments. 

Following SATRO's hard work to develop an online policy. In May, we reached out to our wonderful providers to propose a virtual solution and to get around any social distancing rules. The response was amazing. We asked for suitable titles that the students could research over the summer and devise a short essay and either a PP or a poster with their findings. 

All students have been asked to provide a weekly update on their experience - please see below to see what Nya-Therese has been up to so far! 

Week One

"I chose to research the question what is the truth and consequences behind the MMR vaccine and autism scandal? I decided to explore this title because when I was undergoing my research about Wakefield’s hypothesis regarding the MMR vaccine and its potential link with autism, numerous issues regarding Wakefield’s research appeared and the consequences of his proposed hypothesis to society. This for me made it a very interesting project to write about because I was able to incorporate several ideas into my dissertation and develop a greater breadth of knowledge about the truth behind Andrew Wakefield, undercovering his true intentions.

 

The methods of working I have found successful have been gathering all of my research, writing a first draft and then further researching specific areas that perhaps lacked in detail and cohesion or possible questions that had arisen. Using this information, I then went on to write a second draft and repeated this process until I was happy with the result. I struggling slightly on developing a clear and concise structure, that flowed logically. It took me a few drafts to perfect this and for me to be satisfied, but I am happy with the end result.

 

I have absolutely loved and I am incredibly lucky to have been given this opportunity to research thoroughly a topic I am passionate about and have curiosities in learning more about. I am excited to building on this and pursuing a deeper understanding about this subject." 


- Nya-Therese Halliday 

Anja Salta - Summer STEM Virtual Work Placement Student - Weekly Reports

 

In April SATRO took the unprecedented (and sad) decision to suspend the Research Programme for this year due to COVID-19. We asked all our providers for a 'day in the life of' summaries to give the students a flavour of the many types of roles that are available in the professional environments. 

Following SATRO's hard work to develop an online policy. In May, we reached out to our wonderful providers to propose a virtual solution and to get around any social distancing rules. The response was amazing. We asked for suitable titles that the students could research over the summer and devise a short essay and either a PP or a poster with their findings. 

All students have been asked to provide a weekly update on their experience - please see below to see what Anja has been up to so far! 

Week One

"I have always been curious about what will happen in the future and how our actions will shape what it looks like. It’s why I choose to do ‘How to sustainably provide food for 9 billion people’. When I saw this question I was immediately drawn to it as it made me really think about possible solutions. I had a couple of thoughts in my head about what can be done so I did the research to see if they were viable options and to see if there were better solutions.

It was easy to find information on this topic as it is seen as a pressing issue that needs to be addressed quickly in order to solve it. It took a little while to be able to pick and choose what I thought was the most important factors and then put them into categories, but I eventually got there. Now all I have left to do is finish writing my findings."

- Anja Salta

Angela Avramovska - Summer STEM Virtual Work Placement Student - Weekly Reports

 

In April SATRO took the unprecedented (and sad) decision to suspend the Research Programme for this year due to COVID-19. We asked all our providers for a 'day in the life of' summaries to give the students a flavour of the many types of roles that are available in the professional environments. 

Following SATRO's hard work to develop an online policy. In May, we reached out to our wonderful providers to propose a virtual solution and to get around any social distancing rules. The response was amazing. We asked for suitable titles that the students could research over the summer and devise a short essay and either a PP or a poster with their findings. 

All students have been asked to provide a weekly update on their experience - please see below to see what Angela has been up to so far! 


 Week One

"I chose the chemistry question- ‘How can catalysts improve our lives in the 21st century?’. One of the reasons as to why I chose to research this is because I wanted to widen my knowledge about ways in which catalysts can benefit us, beyond what was taught at school. As there are many challenges that we have to face in the 21st century, some of those being climate change, storage for energy and an increase demand for food, searching for potential ways in which catalysts can help tackle these interested me.

I started off my research by going over the basics of catalysts and the different types- heterogeneous and homogeneous. I then looked into the history of catalysts, how they have been developed, by who and how they have been benefiting the world in the past. My focus then shifted to the current uses, that being the infamous Haber-Bosch process and catalytic converters in cars. I also looked at the overall advantages of catalysts that have and still are improving our lives. It was challenging to find how catalysts can further benefit us as they already do so in many different areas. However, reading articles and looking at interviews from professors and scientists have helped me gain knowledge on current research that is going on. This then allowed me to discover new ways on how the development of catalysts can improve our lives. I gathered further understanding on making biofuels from waste materials, with the help of microorganism-derived catalysts as well as storage of energy from renewable resources, which I will be looking more into. So far, I have really enjoyed the research as I was able to delve into new information and find discoveries that are of a great interest of mine."

- Angela Avramovska 

Monday, 24 August 2020

Siobhan Wilkins - Summer STEM Virtual Work Placement Student - Weekly Reports

 

In April SATRO took the unprecedented (and sad) decision to suspend the Research Programme for this year due to COVID-19. We asked all our providers for a 'day in the life of' summaries to give the students a flavour of the many types of roles that are available in the professional environments. 

Following SATRO's hard work to develop an online policy. In May, we reached out to our wonderful providers to propose a virtual solution and to get around any social distancing rules. The response was amazing. We asked for suitable titles that the students could research over the summer and devise a short essay and either a PP or a poster with their findings. 

All students have been asked to provide a weekly update on their experience - please see below to see what Siobhan has been up to so far! 


 Week One

"When we consider the role of catalysts at GCSE and even A level, we rarely look beyond the role of enzymes in biological reactions, the Haber Process and it’s contribution to producing fertilisers to increase food production, and possibly at a push the role of catalysts within organic chemistry. We often gloss over them with the simple acknowledgement that they speed up reactions by lowering the activation energy without being used up themselves and are that they are often transition metals due to their variable oxidation states. Whilst these basic ideas are a useful starting point, I decided to undertake this project on the role of catalysts in the 21st century to improve lives as I wanted to explore their increasing importance particularly for the storage of renewable energy, conversion of carbon dioxide and food production in a climate where we need to focus on making processes financially and environmentally viable in the long term.

I have begun my research initially on areas of science where catalysts are already being used, and the properties of an effective catalyst to give me a grounding to then look at more complex uses that are even more relevant to the 21st century. For example, catalysts need to be able to adsorb reactants strongly enough that catalysis can occur, but not too strongly that they cannot break away afterwards, as well as being cheap and in plentiful supply to make their use beneficial. This has led me to explore new discoveries such as Spinel Oxides, which could help to decrease carbon dioxide emissions by catalysing water electrolysis rather than having to use lots of fossil fuels to provide fuel to extract the hydrogen, and this is something that I intend to focus on in my essay. I have been using a mixture of open access journals on the internet and the Royal Society of Chemistry’s website, as it is easy to navigate by keyword, and I have been able to find the most up to date discoveries in the field of catalysis, which is an essential in this project to maintain a focus on the future uses of catalysts. I also have found a thought-provoking article on transferring the principle of crop rotation to catalysis, and how a rotation of chemical reactions could regenerate the catalyst without having to heat them or use oxygen and hydrogen, which is very relevant to my future aspirations of studying biochemistry at university, as it shows just one of the many interdisciplinary links between Biology and Chemistry.

As I now start to write out my essay and prepare my poster/presentation, one of the main challenges is being selective with the information I choose to discuss, as well as ensuring I only use sources I fully understand, otherwise the way I communicate my ideas will not be authentic and accurate. This is always a challenge in terms of scientific research at this stage, as when searching the internet the breadth of information available isn’t always filtered to the level of knowledge you have, but using the Royal Society of Chemistry has definitely helped resolve this problem to a large extent, as their articles are intended to be accessible for a wider audience rather than university graduates. I am enjoying the research process, particularly having more freedom to explore discoveries that interest me than I would in my studies at school, especially as with an open-ended question like this. Once you start finding information, your whole perspective of the question may change and you may decide to explore a new line of argument, in the same way that I started out thinking about possibly looking at the role of catalysts in mass production of medicines, but now want to focus on applications in ‘green chemistry'." 

- Siobhan Wilkins

Annabel Stork - Summer STEM Virtual Work Placement Student - Weekly Reports

 

In April SATRO took the unprecedented (and sad) decision to suspend the Research Programme for this year due to COVID-19. We asked all our providers for a 'day in the life of' summaries to give the students a flavour of the many types of roles that are available in the professional environments. 

Following SATRO's hard work to develop an online policy. In May, we reached out to our wonderful providers to propose a virtual solution and to get around any social distancing rules. The response was amazing. We asked for suitable titles that the students could research over the summer and devise a short essay and either a PP or a poster with their findings. 

All students have been asked to provide a weekly update on their experience - please see below to see what Annabel has been up to so far! 


 Week One

"I chose to research ‘How will quantum computing change our society?’, one of the physics questions. I chose this title for numerous reasons, one of them being that I my knowledge on quantum computers was relatively limited before I started my research. Another reason being that recently quantum computers have been in the news and there’s lots of stigma about if quantum computers will be able to breach our security, for example banking information. I wanted to know if any of these stigmas were true and if we should be worried. Moreover, the quantum world is deeply fascinating. 


So far my research has been progressing along steadily. At first I found it useful to understand what a quantum computer is and how they work. After securing a basic knowledge of the mechanics behind the machines, I delved into how they could be utilised in society. The internet of course has been exceptionally useful, filled with YouTube videos and articles, although to progress my research further I need to start looking at recently published papers in scientific journals. I have thoroughly enjoyed my research thus far and am looking forward to learning more."


- Annabel Stork