Young researchers take centre stage at UCB

July 2016

Children as young as seven proved themselves to be confident public speakers when they visited UCB to present the findings of their own research projects.

Back in January, the University gave pupils from 10 local schools a masterclass in the art of researching. They were invited back to unveil their findings in front of a 100-strong audience at the annual Young Researchers Conference at McIntyre House on June 28.

The speakers, who ranged in age from seven to 15, presented their recommendations on topics including boosting boys’ literacy levels and producing the perfect kitchen garden.

UCB lecturers Debbie Reel and Nicola Smith spent the past six months supporting the schools involved, and acting as assistants to the young researchers.

Debbie said the event proved that young people can make great researchers. She said: “Today showed just how talented our local children are, and how their research will impact on their schools and move teaching and learning forward. 

“Many schools are now taking the research findings to their school governors.”

The programme was run in conjunction with Colmore Partnership Teaching Schools Alliance (CPTSA), a group of schools and higher education institutions which work together to enrich the lives of children across Birmingham.

Ali Fisher, of CPTSA, said she was proud of all the young people who took part. She added: “The event at UCB was a brilliant end to the project and the environment was aspirational. The quality of the research, the high standard of the presentations, and peer questioning on the day were outstanding.”

The Young Researchers Conferences concluded with a fun science demonstration by staff from Swanhurst School.