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Young Scientists Days 2016

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Time: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Venue: Edward Muybridge building, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE
Price: free

Young Scientists Days 2016

We are excited to announce our first ever Young Scientists Days for children aged 4-11, run by the Department of Psychology.

Parents are invited to bring their children along to learn about psychology and gain first-hand experience of psychological research. Research topics include how we learn about and perceive emotions, how maths ability develops, and how we solve puzzles.

What is it? An exciting opportunity for children to take part in age-appropriate psychology games/research, learn about psychology, and discover what psychologists do.

What would I do on the day? Parents can either stay with their children, or leave them to play games and do research with our team while grabbing a coffee on campus (parents need to stay in the building).

When is it? During half term - so a great, free opportunity for your budding little scientists during their holiday! Each session is 3 hours long: you and your child(ren) can either come to the morning session (9am-12pm) or the afternoon session (1pm-4pm) on either day.

When you book, please ensure you carefully read the Information Sheet before signing your child up. Thank you.

Examples of Studies

How do children solve puzzles?
In this study we show children a pattern on a computer screen that has 1 piece missing and children are asked to find the missing piece out of six options. Using the Tobii eye tracker, which a non-invasive camera that records children's eye movements, we can examine where children are looking whilst they do this task which provides further insight into how children solve simple and complex puzzles. A better understanding of how children solve puzzles, especially those who perform better compared to those who do not, will allow us to develop better educational intervention programmes.

How do children learn emotions from others?
In this study children are shown pictures of unfamiliar Australian animals together with faces expressing fear or disgust. Children are asked questions to see how they feel about these animals (how scary or disgusting they think they are). They also put a figure on a board to show how near they would go to an animal if they encountered it, and complete a speed button-pressing game to measure how quickly they look for the animals. Some children are also asked questions relating to their general disgust and empathy levels. This research is part of a larger project helping us to understand how and why fears develop in childhood and how this can be prevented.

Numbers in a line
The ability to say where a number goes on a number line (from 0-100 for example) has been found to be linked to formal mathematical abilities. However, not much is known about how this ability develops in young children. In this study we ask children to place numbers on different number lines. We also give them different instructions to see if this affects their performance. Afterwards we also ask them to solve a few maths problems. This will allow us to better understand the foundations for mathematical abilities.

Why do some children get anxious, whilst others don't?
In this study we will ask children to watch a video of another child playing a simple, fun musical instrument. The child will then be asked to play the musical instrument themselves. This study will use questionnaires to assess personality traits and use a non-invasive finger heart rate tracker to measure physical responses. It will explore how different personalities interpret and learn from the positive and negative experiences of their peers and friends. This study will help us understand how and why children become anxious. We hope it will help in the development of preventions of social phobia.

Booking is essential to attend this event.

For further information about this event:

Contact: Dr Jo Van Herwegen


Directions to Edward Muybridge building, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE: