FameLab Academy

FameLab Academy is a competition designed by Cheltenham Festivals; it aims to educate young people about science communication.

Recently, all students in LC2 prepared a three-minute presentation on a STEM topic of their choice. Using only hand-held props and no PowerPoints to convey images or show videos, we had to think carefully about what we wanted to say and how we wanted to say it.

In order to prepare our talks, we had three FameLab sessions in science lessons in order to learn about and explore the three main judging criteria: content, clarity and charisma. During a Saturday session we prepared our speeches, before practising our presentations and finally performing them in front of our tutor groups. The members of each tutor group voted to select two people to represent the group in the final. In my tutor group, Liese and I were chosen to go through to the next round.

The final was nerve-racking for everyone, but all eight finalists performed with confidence. There was a wide range of interesting topics presented, from Alex giving an excellent talk on chocolate, to Beth providing us with a fascinating insight into the effects of veganism.

When we had all given our talks, a panel of three external judges, Adam, Professor of Science Communication from the University of Gloucestershire, Samantha from Cheltenham Festivals, and a mathematician from the National Cyber Security Centre, asked us some questions. They then selected a winner and runner-up.

I found FameLab an exciting and rewarding experience where I had the freedom to tell people about what I loved most. I am looking forward to the competition again next year.

Martha (LC2)