Calling all young scientists...

28 Jul 2009 15:53:00.000

PA 205/09

How do children understand what other people are thinking? What is the best way to test young children’s hearing? How do we learn to navigate around our environment? 

Children aged three to 11 are being invited to the annual Summer Scientist Week at The University of Nottingham between the August 3 and August 7 2009 to help search out the answers to these questions and many more — and have fun in the process.


With the help of games like: ‘Zap That Bug!’; ‘Team Alien’; ‘Food Snap’ and ‘Digicubes’, researchers from the School of Psychology and the Learning Sciences Research Institute 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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Dr Lucy Cragg, from the School of Psychology, said: “The Summer Scientist Week is getting bigger and better every year. It is great fun for all the families involved and is definitely the most enjoyable way to carry out our research. We’re looking forward to an action-packed event this year, with more fun and games than ever.”


The researchers are expecting around 200 children to take part in the week long event. They are interested in how people learn and how children develop new skills. They particularly want to know how people understand what others think and feel, how children learn in different environments, how toddlers develop language and learn to read, and how we learn to control our own thoughts and actions.


Their studies during Summer Scientist Week involve different tasks and games, from balancing boxes and navigating around a room 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. The event is sponsored by Bayard Magazines and a Learning Curve grant from Danone Baby Nutrition.


The activities, at the Exchange Building on Jubilee Campus, will run from 10am to 1pm, and 1pm to 4pm, each day of the week. Parents and/or guardians should accompany their children to the session. Advance booking is recommended. For more information, a description of the research studies, and to book a half-day place during the week of August 3-7, visit

Alternatively, contact the Summer Scientist team on 0115 846 7930, or


— Ends —


Notes to editors

: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 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), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.


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.


Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives ( in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Lucy Cragg in the School of Psychology at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 846 7926,
Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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