Katie Forbes worked for 6 weeks with John Dunn at Marine Scotland on a project which looked at the sampling efficiency of plankton nets. Since undertaking her project in Summer 2010, Katie has presented her project at the Big Bang Fair in London, and was invited to enter her project into the Tomorrow's Water competition, which is designed to challenge young people to take an active role in solving water and environmental problems. At this event, Katie was selected to go forward and represent the UK at the international event - the Stockholm Junior Water Prize, on an all-expenses paid trip to Stockholm.
How did you get involved in the Nuffield Bursary Programme and why did you want to take part in the programme?
I was in my fifth year at Kincorth Academy with a keen interest in marine biology and scuba diving. When the opportunity to take part in a Nuffield Project at Marine Scotland presented itself I leapt at the chance to return to the laboratory after my weeks work experience previously in 2008. The project lasted six weeks, the duration of my summer holidays.
What were the aims of your project, and how did you go about achieving these?
The project I worked on at Marine Scotland was the calibration of flow meters and finding the efficiency of plankton nets used in sampling off the coast of Stonehaven on board the Temora. What seemed like a simple problem at first, soon began to develop whole new levels of complication, which required problem solving and a great deal of time to come up with methods and calculations which over came some of these difficulties.
What did you learn most from your bursary experience?
The whole experience at the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen was fantastic; I learnt so much and gained an insight into many different types of work in marine science. I feel that this project has prepared me more for life after secondary school in a way that my school never could. I would suggest to anyone who has the opportunity to carry out a Nuffield project like this to take full advantage of this life changing experience.