January 2017

Young Researchers Conference 2017 gets off to a flying start

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The annual Young Researchers Conference at UCB was launched with news that one of the UK’s leading researchers would be involved in this year’s project.

Professor Jean McNiff, who works at York St John University and holds visiting professorships at institutions in Ireland, South Africa and China, will be in the audience when scores of Birmingham schoolchildren deliver findings from six months’ worth of research later this year.  

Preparation for this year’s event began in earnest in January when pupils from seven schools gathered at UCB to take part in a lecture on research methodology. The schools involved this year are Colmore Juniors, Colmore Infants, The Oaks, Yorkmead Primary, Kings Heath Primary, Billesley Primary, and Lyndon Green Infants.

Pupils at Colmore Infant School had already given some thought to their research project. Seven-year-old Umar Ali said: “We want to research school rules and how useful and kind they are.”

Nine-year-old Tilly Nathan-Fuller from Colmore Junior School was impressed by UCB. She said: “I think it’s really cool.”

Viv Randall, former executive headteacher at Colmore Infant School, will be supporting the schools over the next six months. She said: “This is about recognising children’s capabilities and not underestimating them. There is no reason why young children can’t conduct research. This project gives them a voice and every year they come up with topics which astound me.”

UCB lecturer Debbie Reel added: “It is always a pleasure to host and support the young researchers in our local schools. They always amaze us with their levels of maturity, responsiveness and eagerness to make real change in their schools. We are really looking forward to June when we get to hear the outcomes of their continued hard work.”

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