Toilet humour increases STEM awareness!
June 16th 2016

Toilet humour increases STEM awareness!

Jessica Mitchell is a PhD candidate at Liverpool John Moores University. While working on The WiSTEM project, she discovered that fun & laughter facilitates learning… in the most hilarious way! MerseySTEM are all about hands-on fun, so we just had to share her story:

“As a post-graduate research student investigating animal scent communication, the past three years have been an incredibly smelly affair.  However I recently used some of my experiences to create an interactive session as part of Liverpool John Moores University’s WiSTEM project which aims to provide year 9 girls with practical experience of STEM subjects.

My session teaches girls how to observe and record animal behaviour.  Their main task involves watching videos of my field experiments which test how banded mongooses respond differently to body-odours based on the sex and health of the individual the odour comes from.  Girls have to decide which behaviours are the most important and how to record them; for example should they time how long a behaviour lasts or should they count how frequently it occurs?  This sneakily pushes them into thinking about statistics whilst focusing their attention on cute (and smelly) animals.

However one of the most successful parts of my session is the ice-breaker activity in which we throw a cuddly poo around and attempt to catch each other out with tricky animal-related questions.  I never realised toilet humour would be so population among year 9 girls, but it definitely inspired interested in my research!”



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Selena Ledgerton Selena Ledgerton
Selena Ledgerton Web, Media & Marketing Manager e: [email protected]