Students as young as six present findings at Young Researchers Conference

July 2017

Reward systems, school partnerships, teaching methods and technology were just some of the complex findings covered by some very young researchers at a special conference at UCB. 

The Young Researchers Conference was the culmination of six months’ worth of research by pupils from Billesley Primary, Yorkmead Primary, Kings Heath Primary, The Oaks Primary and Colmore Infant and Junior schools, following the project’s School of Education, Health and Community launch at the University in January.

Visiting lecturer Jean McNiff, Professor of Educational Research at York St John University, kicked off the day with a rousing lecture on the importance of younger researchers to the world of academia. Danielle Carey, Dean of UCB’s School of Education, Health and Community, joined Jean in reminding pupils of the real message behind the event – to get them thinking about their education and how it could change their future for the better.

Danielle said: “Everyone should be so proud of the hard work they have put in on their presentations today. We want you to come away from this conference and tell everyone what we at UCB are saying to you; that if you keep up this work, every single one of you can choose to go to university.”

Speakers between the ages of six and 11 stunned teaching staff with a set of presentations detailing essential points, potential limitations and desired outcomes of their research.

Some pupils also reported that their success had inspired them to take further action – with children from Colmore Junior School, for example, using their investigation into the benefits of outdoor learning to apply to Tesco for funding to improve their school playground.

Nicola Smith, an Early Years lecturer at UCB, expressed her delight at the potential shown by the conference’s young participants. “Overall, everyone at the conference was really impressed with the young researchers’ understanding of how to carry out reliable research projects and by their presentation skills,” she said. “It was a fabulous day.” 

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