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Gifted Kids Examine the Vile Side of Medical Science

Originally published 14 January 2004

Students from the National Academy of Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY), at the University of Warwick, will explore the vile side of medical science by examining snot and vomit as part of an outreach event on Saturday 17th January at 2 Donegal Street, Islington, London, entitled ‘Rude Science’, which looks at the unpleasant side of the human body.

Thirty gifted students from all over England aged 11-13 are set to take part in the light hearted workshop that is set to examine questions you always wanted to ask, such as: why do some people smell? Or, why does vomit always contain carrots? The event is designed to show that medicine and biology are fun and to encourage the students to consider a more serious interest in the sciences and medical research later in life.

Students will make up mucus then measure the viscosity of snot, explore the content of regurgitated food and examine wounds to understand the process of healing, and, more importantly, gain an introduction to the principles of human biology. The day will be used to tackle the serious issues of the functioning of several body issues, provide experience of how scientific measurements are taken and how approximations sometimes need to be made.

The Academy is open to the top 5% of gifted and talented pupils in the UK, and is working to improve educational provision for the most able students by working with students, educators and parents.

Professor Deborah Eyre, Director of NAGTY at the University of Warwick, said: “Following the successes of our Summer Schools the Academy has developed a comprehensive range of outreach events to meet the needs of the brightest students in the country. Pupils with high potential need to have the opportunity to become high-achievers, and giftedness needs to be brought out through access to challenging opportunities. The Academy is now reaching out to students all over England to ensure that the gifted are given the education they need.”

Outreach events are short courses that normally take place at weekends or in school holidays and are open to all of the Academy’s current 2,500 members. They run at venues all over the country and are delivered by top experts in their field. This year NAGTY are set to offer around 200 events, with about 6000 places in total.

Other outreach events will explore diverse topics, from the archaeology of human remains and history of medicine, to youth crime and deviance.

Photo/ Filming Opportunities: 10.30am-11.00am, Saturday 17th January, Platform 1, 2 Donegal Street, Islington, London N1 9QT

You are invited to illustrate your coverage of the event with images of gifted kids measuring mucus viscosity, exploring the science of vomit and adorning their bodies with fake scars and wounds to assess the skin’s healing process.

For more information contact:

Jenny Murray,
Communications Office,
University of Warwick,
Tel: 02476 574 255,
Mobile: 07876 21 7740

The diced ‘carrots’ commonly found in vomit are actually parts of the stomach wall lining.

The National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, based at the University of Warwick, has been established by the government to develop, implement, promote and support educational opportunities for gifted and talented children and young people aged up to 19.