Category / Knowledge Exchange and Impact Team

The Science Bus is coming to town!

The Science Bus is coming!

How clean is the air on your street, and can you measure this yourself? Do you know what lives in your yogurt? And how can you charge your phone when you don’t have access to electricity? We want to find out with you! The Science Bus brings you workshops and tools to find the answers to these questions and investigate the world around you.

The Science Bus will travel across Europe in search of folk remedies until November 2017. A folk remedy is an everyday trick or “life hack” that anyone can use to make or fix just about anything. Some of this knowledge might even have been around for hundreds (maybe thousands!) of years.

In partnership with the Student Project Bank and SportBU, the Science Bus will be hosted at Slades Farm Family Festival on Sunday 16th July and at Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre from 18th – 21st July. Come along and take part in a workshop!

Why are we on a hunt for folk remedies?

We’d like to put them to the test! How do these remedies work? What are the ingredients? What are the scientific principles behind them? And what can we do to improve them? By combining old knowledge with new technologies, we want to make these clever folk remedies accessible to everyone.

The Science Bus is hosting workshops all around Europe to engage curious minds and encourage people to share their life hacks. The Science Bus will stop at festivals, campsites and marketplaces. In the workshops, our captains will investigate these folk remedies with you. They’ll bring along handy instructions and Do-It-Yourself (research) tools for you to build simple, scientific instruments. This is science for everyone!

Why is the Science Bus important?

We are so used to buying everything we need (and more) that we tend to forget that we can produce and fix things ourselves. We’re not sure exactly what’s in our food, where our products are made , what is right or wrong, or what our options are. Our goal with the Science Bus is to raise questions, encourage critical thinking and investigate our daily environment together. Why? We want as many people as possible to experience that making things themselves and gathering knowledge is both easy and fun!

Catch the Science Bus

The Science Bus will be driving around Europe until November 2017: from the UK to Slovenia, Spain, Germany and many places in-between. The Science Bus captains will share their adventures and discoveries via our website and social media. Do you know any clever folk remedies? Share them with our captains or via our website so that everyone can make use of it! Get involved and follow the Science Bus via togethersciencebus.eu or #sciencebus and be sure to follow it on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

Who is behind the Science Bus?

The Science Bus project is realised by a group of enthusiastic makers from Waag Society – institute for art, science and technology – based in Amsterdam and is part of the European project, “Doing It Together Science.” Within this project, research institutions work together with science galleries, museums and art institutions to engage as many people as possible with citizen science. By hosting innovative workshops, exhibitions and activities all around Europe, the eleven partners show that citizen science is an accessible and fun way to explore the world around you. For more information check out togetherscience.eu.

New project with Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in the SPB!

There is a new project from Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in the Student Project Bank!

SPB0061: “I didn’t know that” – Good End of Life Care educational video for staff at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Nationally and locally, the definition of End of Life Care is subjective and confused.  The term End of Life is frequently associated with the last days or week or two of life, at which point the focus of care is invariably limited to aiming to ensure a good death. Good End of Life Care should focus on helping people who may be approaching end of life to Live Well. The true definition of End of Life Care is “all of the care received in the last year of life” (recognising that this could extend to more than a year, or be shorter).

Create a short information video that all staff at Poole Hospital will watch voluntarily. The video must be informative, but delivered in a very imaginative and fun way. Two key messages need to be communicated:

  1. End of Life Care is the last year of life not just when a person is dying
  2. End of Life Care is EVERYONE’S responsibility

Apply now

Projects are available to all undergraduate and postgraduate students at BU and can be used for their dissertation, assignment, unit or group work. Members of staff may also choose a project to set to their students. A complete list of projects is available here. Send us an email to request a project brief and application form.

New projects in the Student Project Bank!

There are new projects in the Student Project Bank from Bournemouth CVS and Midlands Workplace Wellbeing!

Short project briefs are listed below and full briefs available upon request.

SPB059: Bournemouth Young Volunteers (BYV) – Profile Building

Design and implement a marketing strategy to help raise the profile of the BYV awards through marketing materials and social media. There will need to be tailored promotion around ‘volunteer week’, a week long series of events and an award ceremony celebrating volunteering.

SPB060: Rebrand of workplace health and wellbeing company

Midlands Workplace Wellbeing Ltd works with employers to create happy and healthy employees through consultancy, training and health activities. Help Midlands Workplace Wellbeing Ltd rebrand the business as Mindful Workplace Wellbeing. They are looking to find a new identity that has impact whilst still remaining professional in order to increase their client base.

Apply now

Projects are available to all undergraduate and postgraduate students at BU and can be used for their dissertation, assignment, unit or group work. Members of staff may also choose a project to set to their students.

A complete list of projects is available here. Send us an email to request a project brief and application form.

New projects in the Student Project Bank!

There are new projects in the Student Project Bank from Jo Huey and Noc’s Box in the following areas:

  • Business, management and marketing
  • Computer animation and visual effects
  • Media and communications

Short briefs are listed below,  full project briefs are available upon request.

SPB048: Animation to raise awareness of the support available to adult children of alcoholics

Create a 2-3 minute animation that highlights the key characteristics of adult children of alcoholics (ACOA) and conveys a message that they are not alone and that change is possible.

SPB057: Raising the Game at Noc’s

Noc’s Box uses Gaming (PvP-face-to-face; Skirmish/Warhammer/Empire of the Dead…; and Role Play games) to help people with high social anxieties such as Asperger’s and other social communication/mental health issues to meet in a safe, supportive environment and, through the medium of gaming, to develop their confidence, communication and other life skills. Noc’s needs to reach more potential customers/users both in order to sustain the current business and our clubs and, vitally, to help to convince potential funders to sponsor them as a newly-formed charity. Create a marketing strategy for Noc’s Box with specific recommendations.

 SPB058: Raising the Game at Noc’s: Promotional Video

Noc’s Box uses Gaming (PvP-face-to-face; Skirmish/Warhammer/Empire of the Dead…; and Role Play games) to help people with high social anxieties such as Asperger’s and other social communication/mental health issues to meet in a safe, supportive environment and, through the medium of gaming, to develop their confidence, communication and other life skills. Noc’s needs to reach more potential customers/users both in order to sustain the current business and our clubs and, vitally, to help to convince potential funders to sponsor them as a newly-formed charity. Produce a short (3 minute) promotional video for Noc’s to use to promote the charity.

Apply now

Projects are available to all undergraduate and postgraduate students at BU and can be used for their dissertation, assignment, unit or group work. Members of staff may also choose a project to set to their students. A complete list of projects is available here.
Send us an email if you would like a project brief and an application form.

Featured Student Project Bank partner: Volunteer Centre Dorset

In our second spotlight, Siobhán Davis, Project Coordinator for the Community Credits Scheme, tells us about Volunteer Centre Dorset and the Community Credits Scheme.

The Dorset Volunteer Centre is part of a national network of volunteer centres that help voluntary and community organisations recruit and manage their volunteers, and help people interested in volunteering to find interesting and enjoyable opportunities. The Volunteer Centre Dorset seeks to promote and develop volunteering to all throughout Dorset.

The Community Credits Scheme is focused on people with learning disabilities and supports them to volunteer within their local community by providing a volunteer mentor. In return for volunteering they and their volunteer mentor receive time credit notes which they can exchange for an activity of their choice. This might be learning something from another member of the scheme or buying a session at their local football club, gym or cinema.

People with learning disabilities have been excluded from many organisations in the past and The Community Credit Scheme helps to break down some of those barriers. The Volunteer Centre Dorset successfully piloted The Community Credits Scheme in four towns in Dorset in 2013. They are in the process of extending the scheme to North and East Dorset.

The Community Credits Scheme aims to:

  • Set up volunteering placements for adults with mild learning disabilities and recruit mentors to support them
  • Set up exchange venues in which the credit notes earned for each hour of volunteering can be exchanged
  • Recruit befrienders to support people in exchanging credits if required
  • Support organisations that offer placements
  • Raise positive awareness of people with Learning disabilities.
  • Recruit volunteers throughout Dorset

Volunteers at an awards evening

Why is the Community Credits Scheme so important?

This scheme is paving the way in supporting people with difficulties into volunteering through supported volunteering. The credit scheme is also helping the socially isolated by setting up focus groups and insuring individuals are kept informed about new voluntary placements and events. For each credit a person earns they can exchange it for a health and wellbeing activity. For most of us on a daily basis we find it easy to phone up our mates and go out for the evening. For someone with communication difficulties or travelling difficulties this is huge so we encourage people to live healthier lifestyles, meet new people and step out of their comfort zone. Individuals are learning new skills which are transferrable to the work place. We set up easy, achievable outcomes for individuals to meet which sometimes they have to step out of their comfort zone to achieve. With the support of volunteer mentors/befrienders they can move forward.  For organisations seeking new volunteers this is a huge game changer because support is provided.

 What do you hope to achieve by working with the Student Project Bank?

We are hoping to set up a good working partnership and to include students. We are also looking forward to new ideas being brought forward. We believe that some of Bournemouth University’s students have brilliant skills and knowledge which they could share. This could then be a beacon project in Dorset that we could share with other areas in England. Working with Bournemouth University would be an amazing step forward.

Do you want to get involved? The following projects are available with Volunteer Centre Dorset:

SPB002: Marketing strategy for Volunteer Centre Dorset’s Community Credit Scheme

Create a marketing strategy to raise awareness of Volunteer Centre Dorset’s Community Credit Scheme.

SPB003: Campaign strategy to raise positive awareness of people with learning disabilities in the community

Create a campaign to raise positive awareness of people with learning disabilities in the community.

SPB004: Evaluation strategy for The Community Credit Scheme in Christchurch

Create an evaluation strategy for Volunteer Centre Dorset’s Community Credit Scheme in Christchurch.

SPB005: Volunteering opportunities for individuals with learning disabilities: engagement and experience

Research the ways in which individuals with learning disabilities engage with and experience volunteering.

SPB006: Identify products charities sell to create sustainable income and make recommendations for Volunteer Centre Dorset

Research the products charities sell to create sustainable income and make recommendations to Volunteer Centre Dorset for a product or line of products they could sell to create income for, and raise awareness of, The Community Credit Scheme.

Find out more and apply. 

Research Drove Me to Murder

“As reported by National Policing Improving Agency, the most frequently encountered evidence at the scenes of a crime is footwear impressions and marks. Unfortunately, recovery and usage of this kind of evidence has not achieved its full potential. Due to the cost benefit ratio (time consuming casting procedures, expensive scanners) footprints are often neglected evidence. As technology changes, the capabilities of forensic science should continue to evolve. By translating academic research and technical ‘know-how’ into software (www.digtrace.co.uk) the authors have placed 3D imaging of footwear evidence in the hands of every police force in the UK and overseas.”

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Dominika’s recent submission to the Research Photography Competition.

Dominika Budka is currently working on an innovation funded (HEIF) project called: “Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces”. BU alumni, Dominika,  graduated last year  (2016) having completed an MSc Forensic and Neuropsychological Perspectives in Face-Processing.  Find our more about her role on the HEIF project.
Follow HEIF on Instagram to find out more about the innovation projects taking place at BU: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

 

 

Sherlock’s Window: In search of an odourless growth medium

“A key aspect of forensic investigation is the assessment of the ‘window of opportunity’ during which death took place. Estimations using insects (e.g. blowflies) increase accuracy. Using blowflies to determine post-mortem period requires an understanding of the temperature dependent growth patterns that they develop through their life cycle. In order to understand this, blowfly larvae are reared on growth media in the laboratory.

Sherlock’s Window is a HEIF-funded project at BU which aims to produce an odourless growth medium that can be rolled out internationally for use in forensic investigation. Illustrated here is the head of a third instar blowfly larva. Maggots have no eyes, but the protrusions at the tip of the mouth area are palps, used for feeling and manipulating food particles. The rows of black barbs that are visible are used to pull the maggot forward through the food substrate.”

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Dr Andrew Whittington’s recent submission to the Research Photography Competition.

Find out more about the project in the latest edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle featured in the section:  “Innovation in industry:how researchers and the wider community are working together.”

Follow HEIF on Instagram to find out more about the innovation projects taking place at BU: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

 

 

 

BU alumni working on serious gaming project

Joshua (Josh) Cook graduated in 2016  with a first in BSc Games Programming.  He is currently working on an innovation project being led by Professor Wen Tang. ” PLUS”   is a gamified training application funded by HEIF,  in collaboration with the Dorset, Devon and Cornwall (Strategic Alliance) Police forces in order to provide a virtual learning environment that teaches trainees in a more engaging manner than traditional paper based learning.

As a project team member Wen commented “Josh has been a pro-active and key member of the project team working with both academics , the College of Policing and police forces around the UK to develop this training application.”

Key areas of focus for Josh have included:

  • Making the system more generic, so that the project can later be expanded to multiple areas and more situations with ease
  • Improve the visual environment (of the game) with shaders and animations
  • Include data analytics in order to obtain an understanding as to how trainees are using the game, how long they take, how many mistakes they make etc

Josh didn’t take a placement year during University, so aside from a summer position in a local games position he  did not have much work experience. On being given this opportuntity to work on the projetc Josh commented ” The PLUS project seemed like an interesting project to work on, and when I found out a position was open to work on it I applied. I’ve learned some useful things on this project, such as working from and improving upon an existing code base, what it’s like working directly with clients, implementing and using data analytics, and I’m sure I’ll learn more throughout the duration of my employment.”

This project has received funding from August 2015 with the funding ending in July 2017. (HEIF 5+1 and HEIF 5+1+1)

Read more about this project in full: Serious Games for Police Training. 

College of Policing Research Map