Two students are through to the next round of science’s answer to the X Factor after wowing judges with their dazzling science communication skills.
Amy Sanders, studying Surrey’s new MSc Health and Clinical Sciences, and Sarah Campbell, studying for a PhD in the School of Psychology, battled it out with passionate scientists from across the South East at the hotly-contested regional heats of FameLab UK, hosted by the University of Surrey.
The competition is open to scientists, technologists and engineers who love their subject and want to pass on their passion and enthusiasm to the public. Contestants are challenged to explain a science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) topic in an engaging way in just three minutes.
Amy’s talk was about height, hormonal control and genetics. She based her presentation around her own ‘bad example’ of the growing process, exploring how growth hormones, diet and the role of genetics may have affected her own 4’11” height.
Amy, who also completed her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry (Medical) at Surrey, said: “I was completely shocked when I got through to the next round. The standard of talks was really high.
“For the next round I'm going to use the positive feedback from the judges and apply it to muscle contractions, using an ice skating jump as an example.”
The regional final, which will showcase the most impressive entries from across the South East, takes place at Surrey’s Heart & Soul venue on 23 January.
One winner and one wildcard will then go forward to the national final, due to be held at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre on 23 April 2014. They will also get the chance to receive intensive coaching from experts in media and communication skills at a weekend masterclass organised in the run-up to the FameLab finals.
The overall winner of FameLab UK will claim a prize of £1,000, and a further £750 to spend on a science communication activity. She or he will also go on to compete in the International Final of FameLab at the Cheltenham Science Festival on 3 to 8 June 2014.
Find out more on the FameLab website.