Corey Magee, from St Colmans College in Northern Ireland, took part in a 4 week placement at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute in Belfast. His microbiology project looked at ‘The Effect of High Hydrostatic Pressure on the Mouth-feel of Low-Fat Ice-Cream’.
Why did you apply for the placement?
I am very interested in science and I love to see how things work and how everything fits together. So when the opportunity arose to work in a proper science environment, I was extremely interested. I enjoyed science in school but wanted to see how things worked when it was taken out of the context of the classroom. I was really hoping that I would get a place. I had heard from other students who had previously taken part that it was worth doing and I am delighted that in the end I did get the chance to do it .
How did you feel on the first day of your placement?
On the first day I was definitely excited to get started and I also felt somewhat nervous. I wasn’t sure what everyone would be like and I didn’t know what to expect. However, everyone was very welcoming and helpful and within five minutes I felt completely relaxed.
How did you spend your time on the placement?
I spent my time working on my project. This involved lab work, for example doing dilution series and also gram stains. A big part of my project relied on the use of a ‘High Pressure Processing’ machine, so I was able to use this and see how it worked. This machine was not only used for my product but I was able to learn from my supervisor about the many commercial uses worldwide
What did you learn from your placement?
I learned a lot from my placement. I was able to see how science worked outside of my A-level syllabus. I was able to experience the research aspect of science but also how this is important in the commercial world. In the food microbiology lab I was able to put into practise much of the theory which I had covered in school. The placement definitely confirmed that science was something that I wished to pursue further.
What do you want to do next?
Well, I am in my last year at St. Colman’s and hopefully after completing my A-levels I would love to go on to university to study. I definitely want to learn more about science and I think there is no better way to do it!