August 7, 2020, by jicke

Banishing boredom for children with scientific research

What affects children’s attention? Can watching television help them develop new words? Children and young people can help researchers find the answers to these questions and more by taking part in a range of fun and engaging free activities that reveal how their brains work.

The University of Nottingham’s School of Psychology host the popular Summer Scientist event every year when they usually invite children onto campus to get involved in their research projects. This year it has been taken online and is packed full of boredom busting games and activities.

Summer scientists aged 4-17 will be able to take part in a range of research games and other fun activities via the website, at any time they choose. By taking part, children (and parents) get to learn about how the mind and brain work by experiencing real science first-hand.

Dr Lucy Cragg one of the event co-ordinators says: “Summer Science Week is usually one of the highlights on our calendar and is an important way for us to gain important insights for our research projects. The activities and games that are available online are a great way to spend some time over the summer holidays doing something fun and educational. Having the event online also means people can dip in and out whenever they choose and we can run the event for the whole month!”

Some activities include: The Big Animal Race which is a game looking at memory and attention and will help the researcher understand if children can use clues to guide their attention, and if this makes it easier for them to ignore distractions. There is also a racing game which explores how the ability to produce movements at exactly the right time develops. Other games include those investigating language and number development.

Dr Danielle Ropar adds: “Previous research carried out at Summer Scientist Week has lead to published work in a range of areas such as children’s sensory, social, or cognitive development.  Importantly, the event has allowed us to share our research with families, educating parents about child development and inspiring young scientists.”

To find out more about the event and how to register for free go to:  Once registered children will be able to access their personalised games page through the same link anytime in August. There will be tokens to collect, a leaderboard and other fun science-based activities on the website for children to enjoy!

The Big Race






Examples of the games

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