Science, Conference, and other wild things….
I was really excited to be part of a science event day at Castle Rock School in Coalville, near Loughborough. It really was an enjoyable day as I was part of the group that represented Loughborough University (paid volunteering).
The kids (with their parents, as well as some teachers) were excited because we made ‘bath bombs’, which they took home. Bath bombs are essentially a feel-good product that effervescent when dropped in water due to some chemical reaction between water and the product. They can be used to add essential oils and scent to bath water and available in different colours.
Our stand was just one of many, as Loughborough University also had a stand to show a telescope for gazing at stars. That is one of the fascinating thing about the university, there are loads of societies to join, depending on interest. If a society is not available and the interest is there amongst students, it doesn’t take much to form one. A good example is the Harry Potter society, TED talk society, among others. Other stands were put up by students of the school (and Royal Army) exhibiting different sides of the beauty of science.
One major highlight was also the presence of wildlife , which is quite surprising, and intriguing, as I witnessed a ‘deceptively’ fast tortoise. I have always seen them move slowly, and read countless books on how slow they are, but I might just have witnessed the fastest one in the world. Obviously, I stayed away from the snakes, but admired other animals that were there.
As research students, we have the luxury of looking on as undergraduates and postgraduate taught (Masters) students prepare and write exams, but it is important for our own development to attend research conferences and seminars to better understand and keep up to date with the latest developments in our field of research.
I was opportune to attend one of such, organised by Institution of Chemical Engineers (of which I am a member) and which took place at my department. While it is not compulsory to give presentations or prepare a poster, research students are encouraged to do this, as it highlights one’s own research work, which could improve networking with other people from other universities from around the world.
At the conference, we had participants from universities from Birmingham, Cambridge, London Southbank, Manchester, University College London, as well as the host university, Loughborough. I was one of those that gave presentation on my current research work and heard from participants on their own research work as well.
While the undergraduates will be going on their summer holidays (which I can only look on with envy), research students carry on with their work, and I will be stuck in the labs for most of the summer, as I am approaching the crunch period of my research. Obviously, it won’t all be work, as I look forward to maximising the summer by hanging out with friends and family, enjoying BBQ and other ‘summery’ stuffs we do.
It will come down to balancing work and pleasure, which is not too bad. They are also some nice places to hang out on campus, and with the university being a bit light in terms of ‘traffic’ due to undergraduates going/have gone home, it should be fun, in a way.
At this point I will like to wish all those waiting for the result of their exams all the very best.
Till next month…