QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 78 - Page 6

Engaging with the community Festival of Sport New scheme helps raise children’s aspirations in science F OR THE FIRST TIME, QMU took part in the East Lothian Sports’ Award Ceremony. The event, which took place in Musselburgh’s Brunton Hall in October, honoured and celebrated the achievements of many of the county’s sports people and sports clubs. QMU sponsored the ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award, which was presented by Johnny Elmer, Vice President of QMU’s Students’ Union. This award recognises an individual over the age of 25 who has dedicated their time and devotion to a sports’ programme in the East Lothian community. All of the individuals who were nominated within the category demonstrated leadership, dedication and devotion to the importance of sports for the youth. The winner of the award was Margaret Kerr, who was part of the Saltire Team Gymnastics organisation. ❒ Enterprise Exhibition and Awards Dinner Q MU WAS DELIGHTED to support the Mid and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce ‘Enterprise Exhibition and Awards’ event that was held in October. The University, which is always keen to support community projects and business development, sponsored the ‘Business High Growth and Innovation Award’, which was won by biotechnology company, Ingenza. Guest speakers at the event included Ken Barclay, Head of RBS Corporate Banking Division and Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism. ❒ A NEW SCHEME FOCUSED on raising children’s awareness of science is being piloted at QMU. The ‘Researcher in Residence’ scheme is part of the University’s community outreach work and involves children aged 10 – 11 at a local primary school. Three QMU researchers visited children at Towerbank Primary School in Portobello. The young academics created fun, interactive sessions that demonstrated aspects of their research projects. The challenge for the researchers is in making PhD level research accessible to primary children. However, the academics obviously hit the mark with their entertaining sessions as feedback from teachers and the children was overwhelming positive. Zoe Roxburgh, speech researcher, used two different types of technology to show children what their tongues were doing inside their mouths during speech. This included pioneering ultrasound technology developed at QMU as well as an iPad app that showed the general motions that the tongue, throat, and mouth make when producing certain sounds. She explained: “Through the use of an ultrasound scanner, children, for the first time, were able to view all the different shapes that an actual tongue makes when forming different sounds. For example, they were able to see where the tip of the tongue was when creating the sound ‘L’ as well as tongue movement at the back of the mouth to form the sound ‘G’. The children seemed to really love the visual stimuli of the ultrasound, as well as the iPad app, as they were able to mimic exactly what they were seeing on the screens.” Zoe also tried to raise awareness amongst the children that there can be a huge variation as to how different people speak. She suggested that they shouldn’t be too quick to judge people on the way they sound. Two researchers from Dietetics and Nutrition also had great fun with the children, exploring different aspects of taste and diet. The school pupils especially enjoyed the food rainbow that raised awareness of different food groups. Dr Wendy Beautyman, Lecturer in Researcher Development at QMU, said: “This is a new community engagement project that brings science to life. It emphasi