Earlier this summer, Armita got selected to take part in the Year 10 Science Camp at the John Innes Centre. Read on to find out how she got on!
Science camp is a place where students can go to explore their curiosity and broaden their scientific knowledge. It’s a place where you can experience hands-on learning and meet new people who share their interests. As a nonnative speaker, I found this experience can be even more valuable than for native speakers, as it gave me the opportunity to practise my English in a setting where everyone is encouraging and supportive. Science camp is a place where everyone is welcome and has the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe and welcoming environment.
When my biology teacher introduced me to the idea of science camp, my heart started to race. I had always loved science, and the thought of being able to go and spend a week surrounded by it was exciting beyond words. Even though I was nervous about whether or not I would be accepted, as a nonnative speaker in a field where English is the primary language of communication, I knew that I had to apply. The thought of missing out on this experience was too painful to imagine.
When I got the news that I was accepted into the science camp at John Innes Center, I was overjoyed. I was so excited to start my week at science camp, but at the same time I was pretty nervous, given that I was the only person from my school; but there was nothing to worry about. When I arrived at John Innes Center, I was amazed by the scale and complexity of the facilities. It was like being transported to a whole new world. The people there were incredibly friendly, and I soon found myself surrounded by a diverse group of people who shared my interests. The conversations were so stimulating that I felt like I had known these people for years, even though it had only been a few hours.
The first few days of the science camp were spent doing hands-on experiments like extraction of chlorophyll or testing the rate of photosynthesis in different lights and learning about the latest advances in scientific research. We got to work with cutting-edge equipment and materials, which was an experience that I had never had before. The level of detail and attention to precision in everything that we did was mind-blowing, and it made me realise how much science has progressed. We were even given the opportunity to work with some of the scientists who worked at the centre and learn from them firsthand. It was an interesting experience that you can only get in a place like this; there is so much to discover and learn there.
After a few days of hands-on experiments and learning, we moved on to the work placements. This is where students get paired up with a scientist or researcher and spend a day working with them. This was one of the highlights of the experience for me, as I got to work with some incredible people who showed me what it’s like to be a scientist. They were very patient and supportive, and they gave me a lot of opportunities to learn and grow. I was able to see what they do on a daily basis, which gave me a good insight of what being a scientist is like. Who thought coding a machine to do chromatography for you would be so fun?
On the last day of the camp, we were given the chance to make our own poster about something we loved during the week. This was one of the most enjoyable parts of the experience for me, as it allowed me to be creative and express my emotions about the experience. We were all given plenty of time to work on our posters, and we got to show them off to our teachers and the scientists we had worked with. It was a great way to remember all the memories we’ve made during the science camp, and it was also a good opportunity to get some feedback from our teachers and the scientists who worked with us.
In the end, science camp was an incredible experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in science. It was a place where I learned and grew as a person, and I made some new friends along the way. I got to explore my interests and passions, and I got to learn from some of the best scientists in the world. It was a place where I felt comfortable and welcomed, despite being a non-native speaker in a science field where English is the primary language. I am grateful for the opportunity to attend science camp and I will always keep the memories I made there close to my heart; so, if you want a week full of unforgettable memories, then definitely try to apply for this experience, as you won’t regret it!
All of the participants on this year’s Science Camp were also offered the opportunity to undertake a Youth STEMM Award, fully sponsored by the John Innes Centre. This adds extra impact to this already fantastic experience. By writing this blog, Armita has got one step closer to completing her Award by adding additional hours ‘Engaging the Public’ about her experience!
If you like the sound of the Year 10 Science camp, you can find out more and apply for the 2024 camp at: