On Saturday 20th October, the Person Perception Lab (School of Psychology) at the University of Lincoln hosted their first Newton Academy public-engagement event. The Newton Academy was developed as part of the University of Lincoln’s Athena SWAN project, with the aim of attracting more girls to STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). The Academy is a 3-year program available to all Lincolnshire school girls in year 6 (aged 10-11) and generally enrols around 40 children per year.

This fun-filled morning gave school girls a chance to learn about the science of psychology through various interactive activities, running their own experiment and doing some psychology myth-busting. The Academy event was themed ‘It’s All in Your Head’ and focused on questions such as: How does the brain respond to changes in the world around you? How do we recognise faces? And how well does the brain function when trying to multitask? Staff involved in the running of the workshop included School of Psychology lecturers, students and PhD researchers (including LIH student Sophie Mohamed).

Engagement events such as this are a fantastic way of giving children hands-on experience in science subjects, such as psychology, and shows them that pursuing a career in this field can take many exciting forms! It is also a great way for researchers at the University of Lincoln to show members of the Lincolnshire community the kinds of topics and problems that their research focuses on and the importance of this work.

It was a rewarding day for all, as both staff and students left feeling enthusiastic, inspired and fulfilled.

For further details on the Newton Academy, or to get involved, go to http://eleanorglanvillecentre.lincoln.ac.uk/equality-unit/the-newton-academy/

By Sophie Mohamed

Newton Academy