While studying here as a visiting student from Brown University, USA, Ruixi Seet decided to expand her skills by volunteering with the Physics Outreach Team.
What attracted you to the role of Physics Outreach Team volunteer?
As an exchange student, I was in search of extracurricular activities which would enable me to productively spend time outside of academia and explore my interest in physics outreach, as well as get to know local communities in Edinburgh. The Physics Outreach Team was perfect for fulfilling these goals. Both at my home institution and at The University of Edinburgh, it seems that applications for extracurricular activities tend to be fairly competitive. As the process to join the Physics outreach team was more accessible and relaxed – it was just a genuine get-to-know-your-interest-in-STEM-outreach exchange – this was a breath of fresh air.
Imagine waking up one day, and finding all your favourite food deconstructed in its most basic components? This is not the pitch of the next popular cooking show, but the surprising experience of the presenter of Yummy Physics, a new web series on the physics of food!
Yummy Physics is an outreach project created by staff and students from The University of Edinburgh to share some of the Physics happening deep inside our food. Dr Marion Roullet, who conducted her PhD research at the Institute of Soft Condensed Matter, tells us more about this web series.
Why Yummy Physics?
It started from the observation that to most people, physics is either about very small stuff, like quantum physics, or about very large objects, like astrophysics. While some like the mystery of these fields, many find it very abstract and complicated, and thus think that physics is not their cup of tea.
Last year I joined the School of Physics and Astronomy’s first Outreach Team which was set up by Dr JC Denis, the School’s Outreach Officer.
For those wondering, outreach can be boiled down to taking science out of the labs and in front of the public. When I volunteered for the team, I went in with the intention of spreading the good word of physics to the next generation of potential scientists. By the end of the year, I had gained one of the most important skills of my academic career: the ability to tell people what I’m doing.