Over the summer holidays, Lower Sixth students completing their Gold CREST Award embark on a variety of university placements.
George and Ajan completed their Gold CREST placement at Lancaster University under the supervision of Dr Jaroslaw Nowak. Their project included the observation of neutrino interactions in a Liquid Argon Time Projection Chamber (LArTPC). At Lancaster University they had access to the MicroBooNE experiment in Fermilab, Chicago and produced images of the interactions. The images can be split into two categories; signal and background. A signal image, produced by neutrino interactions, can be compared with the images of background radiation that is caused by streams of charged particles originating from the sun.
'We studied the images to compare the two styles of image and learn the key differences so that our brains could recognise the main features of either style. Since the differences can be very subtle, correctly identifying a signal image can be difficult and, to an extent, subjective. Even a computerised system only has an accuracy of around 30%, far below that of expert physicists. Our aim therefore, was to obtain a higher accuracy than the computer from an unseen sample of images.'
George and Ajan thoroughly enjoyed the placement which took them beyond the content covered in their A level syllabus.
Lauren and Hana have also been busy this summer as they completed a Psychology based Gold CREST placement at the University of Warwick Medical School under the supervision of Dr Vivek Furtado.
‘Hana and I were delighted to spend a few days at the start of the summer holidays at Warwick University for our Gold CREST Project to answer the question, "Do those detained in hospitals under the mental health act have an equal opportunity to participate in mental health clinical trials in the UK?". We were shown how to use different databases and websites to collate information and come to an informed conclusion. After analysing over 200 clinical trials using two different search terms we found that 51% of the studies we looked at exclude those detained under the mental health act. We both thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to deepen our knowledge of this subject, which is important to both myself and Hana. We would like to thank Dr Vivek Furtado for all of his help and guidance during our project and we are grateful to have received such kindness and hospitality from everyone we encountered at Warwick Medical School.’
We would like to thank Lancaster University, Warwick Medical School, Dr Vivek Furtado and Dr Jaroslaw Nowak for providing our students with these exciting opportunities.