23rd July 2012, 2:01pm
Chance for children to become a scientist this summer
Games at Summer Scientists 2011 Toddlers and primary school children can become scientists for the day in a free series of fun and games hosted by the University of Lincoln during the summer holidays.

Lincoln's School of Psychology is running its popular Summer Scientists programme again this August.

Children aged between three and 10 have the chance to contribute to real scientific research while having fun at the same time.

Child development specialists have drawn up a series of games, quizzes and challenges for children to take part in. Each exercise is designed to tell the researchers something about how children develop the skills, awareness and understanding we rely on every day as adults.

One game looks at the factors which influence children's willingness to share with others, while another explores how youngsters learn to recognise what could be risky behaviour. Another activity will shed light on how children use their imagination to create pictures in their mind when they hear stories.

There will also be some physical games which will examine how children learn to use one hand or the other - and even how good they are at pulling happy, sad and angry faces!

Dr Fenja Ziegler, Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology at the University of Lincoln, who leads the Summer Scientists team, said: "The best way of learning is having fun. Most of the games children play from being babies are in some way contributing to their mental, physical and emotional development.
"Summer Scientists takes this a notch further - by recognising that children can teach us a great deal about how we all learn and develop new skills as we grow up.
"First and foremost, all the games and activities at Summer Scientists are designed to be fun but they also serve another important purpose. By observing how the children play these games, we will be able to gather data which will be invaluable to our ongoing research into child development."

Parents and children have the choice of which games they want to join in and they can withdraw from activities at any time. The data collected - which will be anonymised so it cannot be linked back to individual children - will inform the School of Psychology's ongoing research, which could go onto be published in academic journals or presented at conferences.

There are still some places available for this year's Summer Scientists event and the team are encouraging families with young children to get involved. The activities take place between Monday 20 and Friday 24 August 2012. Families sign up for either a morning or an afternoon session. Each session is supervised by experienced child development researchers and student volunteers. The venue is the Faculty of Business and Law building, located on Brayford Wharf East, Lincoln, on the edge of the University's main Brayford Pool campus.

For more information or to sign up for Summer Scientists 2012, email summerscientist@lincoln.ac.uk or visit the team's blog: http://summerscientist.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/
--Ends--