From the 18th-30th of October, Norwich hosted the Norwich Science Festival; two weeks of exhibitions, guest speakers, activities and lectures based at the Forum and other venues around the city. Throughout the two weeks, there were stands and exhibitions set up in the Forum, where the public were encouraged to get involved with science. I volunteered to help with the stand from the John Innes Centre over half term, which focused on the idea of plant growth and how plants get their varied shapes. Although I was nervous when I went to the John Innes Centre for my training session, the scientists were very approachable, keen to share their knowledge and excited about sharing their passion with the public. On my first day helping on the JIC stand, the Forum was packed with schoolchildren and I felt a bit overwhelmed but the people who were helping on the stall were really supportive and I managed to get over my fear of public speaking. I would definitely recommend taking part in an event like this, I learnt so much! Despite thinking that I would be at a disadvantage as I don’t study biology at A-Level, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it and how interesting the plants were to learn about. The stand had many carnivorous plants, with microscopes and endoscopes so that the public could see inside the plants. The best part was using the endoscope and seeing people’s reactions when they saw the dead flies in the plant’s digestive juice. Taking part in this festival will count as hours towards my Gold Youth STEMM Award, which four other girls from Year 12 and I are participating in.
Interview with science communicator Dr Sam Rowe on his journey into STEMM
As part of our blog series interviewing STEMM professionals, we spoke to Sam Rowe, science communicator and an advocate of equality for the LGBTQIA+ community.