09 Sep Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre (The NCS) Biologists Win Gold And Silver Prizes In The Physiological Science of Life Competition
Eight groups of students from the NCS took part in the national Physiological Society ‘Science of Life’ Competition at the end of the summer term.
Each group was required to design and carry out their own, unique research project within the field of physiology. Following their data collection, they analysed their results and produced a progress report which was submitted to the Physiological Society. Six of the groups were shortlisted as finalists. This required them to produce an academic poster and present it to judges who questioned them on their work.
We’re delighted to announce that two of our groups won the Gold and Silver prizes. We’re all incredibly proud of all of the students and their work. The judges commended them on the quality of their projects and presentations. You can see all the posters including the Gold and Silver winners around our Science department.
Find out more about this prize and download our Gold and Silver winning posters here
The student view
The Curious Scientists (Hafsa and Vithu) Silver Award Winners
As curious scientists we were keen to investigate big claims made by previous studies and the first hand experience we would have in conducting a research project was immediately an opportunity not to be missed.Firstly, we read many research papers and articles to get us thinking about what we could investigate. We designed a suitable hypothesis, wrote a robust methodology, collected the data and analysed it using suitable statistical tests, we then thoroughly evaluated our investigation to identify limitations and suggest ideas for further investigations. Throughout the project we asked our biology teachers and our mentor for their feedback, this was crucial as it allowed us to make improvements at every stage. We enjoyed ourselves greatly, it improved countless skills leaving a priceless experience. The best part of the experience was talking to the judges in the finals. The judges were all vey curious which made our conversations with them very enjoyable. It was a moment we wanted to freeze in time so that we could continue to discuss our work! The questions they asked were all very thought-provoking, increasing our critical thinking skills as we searched our brains for possible answers and ideas. I personally found the experience very fulfilling, inspiring me to further investigate our research question in the future. This is an opportunity I would highly encourage and recommend to all the scientists and curious thinkers, take on the challenge and enjoy the ride.
The Chocolatiers (Aqsa, Aisha, Nadia, Ateeqa
We initially carried out the experiment as part of the biology super curriculum. We found the experience to be interesting and so, when we heard about the Physiology Competition, we decided to carry it on.Our experiment was on the effects of cocoa flavonoids, found in chocolate, on blood pressure. We were required to design and carry out our own experiments and analyse the results. We wrote everything up into a PowerPoint presentation which was sent off to the judges after which we were shortlisted as finalists. We then created a poster which we presented to the judges during the finals. From this experience, we learnt the scientific protocols required to carry out an experiment and the difficulties in balancing ethics while following a scientific procedure. The competition also helped us enhance our presentation skills. We really enjoyed having the experience of independently carrying out our own research and working with a university professor who gave us input on the experiment. It was a great experience which we would highly recommend to those who enjoy biology and would like to conduct their own research.
The Guardians of the Garlixsy (Fatima Sheikhuna and Khadidja Habel)
At the beginning of the year we were given an opportunity to join a super curriculum and it wasn't hard for me to choose biology. During the sessions we had planned, conducted and presented our projects to our peers. The opportunity for the physiological competition 2016 came along and so my partner and I signed up to the competition to take part.We had to find an innovative way of presenting our project in order to be shortlisted for the final, so we came up with the idea of creating a website. I did hours of research to try and figure out the complex science and biology behind what our topic of choice – factors which affect blood pressure. I then created a video explaining what I had learnt. After weeks of anxious waiting, we received an email stating that we had been selected to present our project at the final. Upon hearing this we sat down to creatively plan out what our next steps should be. We were counting down the days until Wednesday 13th July. This was the scariest day for us as we had to present to several groups of judges and were competing with groups who had come from different schools. Presenting to the judges was both exciting and nerve wracking, but most of all we were so happy to finally be able to talk to people about the research we had conducted. Conducting our own independent study this year was both insightful and a lot of fun. Through this experience we learnt skills that we know will be of use to us both when we venture into our own careers in the future, such as effective research, good communication and teamwork and the list goes on. While planning our methodology we were constantly finding obstacles which meant we were always evaluating to try and improve our method and from this we learnt to think more critically and creatively. We both thoroughly enjoyed this entire experience from researching the experiment beforehand, to planning it and finally seeing it actually take place. It was incredible to have been able present our project to the judges and talk to professionals about the research we'd carried out. This experience has highlighted the importance of independent studying and has encouraged us both to continue doing it.