Scientists in Schools

Exercise on the brain

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  • Nikey Mylordi, Erindale College, Wanniassa, ACT
  • Thomas Lillicrap, Australian National University

While collaborating with Thomas, not only did Nikey's year 11 students present their research findings at an international conference, they also took a look inside their teacher's brain!

Six Year 11 students from Erindale College in the ACT presented their research findings at the 6th International Students Science Fair held in Adelaide. Their investigations focused on whether lactic acid was present in the brain after moderate exercise and its subsequent effect on motivation.

Thomas mentored the students through the project, with Nikey volunteering for an MRI brain scan to provide the students with research data. Using the MRI machines to study brain chemicals provided the opportunity to learn about the physics behind the machines.

"Making science relevant to them (our students) is for me the best way of engaging students in a curriculum area that has taken a dive with enrolments in the last decade," explains Nikey. "I went into this partnership to try to motivate and stimulate my students to become more engaged in science in the hope that their experience would also motivate others to participate."

Students presenting their research

Brain scan

Thomas and Nikey working together

Involvement in the project gave science relevance in the students' lives, not to mention the experience of exhibiting their research on an international level.
"The students benefited greatly from getting to develop their own project and present their own research at an international forum," says Thomas. "Assisting the students in developing and presenting their own project was definitely a highlight."
Nikey strongly encourages others to join the Scientists in Schools program, "It's an excellent program that offers much more than you think - the possibilities are endless and the rewards immense."

Student group at science conference