09 Aug 2010 11:21:56.070

How do children understand what other people are thinking? Why do children choose certain foods? How can pictures help children learn?

Children aged 3 to 11 are being invited to The University of Nottingham to help in the search for answers to these questions and many more — and have fun in the process.

Researchers from the School of Psychology and the Learning Sciences Research Institute are running a week-long series of studies on campus from August 18–22. With the help of fun games like: ‘Mouse in the house’, ‘Mission to Mars’, ‘The cake game’, ‘Frog stories’ and ‘Food snap’, the researchers hope to shed new light on the development of crucial skills and gauge how children learn from the world around them.
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 The studies involve different tasks and games, from sorting shapes and using number blocks to playing computer games or deciphering puzzles. There will also be other activities to entertain children such as face painting, arts and crafts, and electronic games, as well as posters giving information to parents about the research projects themselves.

All of the studies will be run by experienced researchers and have been approved by the University’s ethics committee. Summer Scientist Week takes place on the University’s Jubilee Campus and has been organised by the Learning Sciences Research Institute and the School of Psychology.

Dr Camilla Gilmore, of the Learning Sciences Research Institute, said: “The Summer Scientist Week was a great success last year. Everyone who took part enjoyed the games and activities we arranged — including the researchers! We hope that this year’s event will be even better, with lots more children coming to join in the fun.”

The activities will run from 10am to 1pm, and 1pm to 4pm, each day of the week. Parents and/or guardians should come along to accompany their children. Advance booking is required.

For more information and to book a half-day place during the week of August 18-22, contact Florence Drouvin on 0115 8467930, or

There is more information, and a description of the types of research studies at:

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 70 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.

It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy).

Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for four years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Camilla Gilmore, Learning Sciences Research Institute, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 846 6561,
Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

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