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The importance of social interaction in STEM 

18 March 2020 By Minushika Punchihewa

“Part of the responsibility of a scientist is to do the best science they can, but to also communicate it in a way that the public can engage with it” – Dr Gemma Bale 

 

Social interaction is an important part of STEM. It forms the backbone for effective communication as well as collaboration.  Developing skills such as networking, can help students build connections within the scientific community and encourage interdisciplinary practices across the STEM industry. 

 

“In Denmark we talk a lot about this, about networking, creating connections. So when you have these international forums, you create a network. So it’s all about getting to know people and gaining knowledge about the world” –  Klaes, Denmark (2019 LIYSF participant). 

 

LIYSF encourages social interactions and integrates these within the two week programme. Events such as ‘The Great Crossword Hunt,’ the ‘International Cabaret and the scientific day visits embraces the diversity of culture and experiences among participants, all while connecting students with science. 

Welcome party/ farewell party 

Participants celebrated the beginning of their two weeks at the 61st LIYSF with a welcome party at The Millennium Gloucester Hotel. What better way for everyone to get to know their fellow participants than over an evening of dancing! 

The forum ended just as it began, with a farewell party for participants to dance the night away, and reminisce on their LIYSF journey. 

 

The Great Crossword Hunt

It is a well known fact that the best way to explore London and South Kensington is through the LIYSF Great Crossword Hunt.

Participants were required to form teams of 10 people, with each team representing at least 3 continents and 5 different countries. The teams were then given a series of questions to answer, these were related to sights around South Kensington and fun facts about our staff, with a final challenge of taking the best group selfie! 

The Great Crossword Hunt was not only a great way to explore South Kensington, the area participants will be situated in, but to get to know their staff team as well. 

 

International Cabaret 

“It’s not just about science, it’s also about culture” 

The International Cabaret is an evening of performances by participants that capture the diversity and showcases the wide array of talent by our students. This year, 22 acts were selected from auditions to perform at the Cabaret.

The acts varied from magic shows, musical and dance performances to stand up comedy. The evening was nothing short of entertaining with participants bringing an extra dose of culture to the cabaret. 

 

Participants were especially fortunate as Professor Clare Elwell (President of LIYSF) and Mike Clark (Chairman of LIYSF) attended the International Cabaret this year. 

LIYSF Olympics 

Three halls, 8 activities and hall packed with team spirit – the LIYSF 2019 Olympics were in full force. 

This year Beit (Blue), MGM (Yellow) and Richmond (Red) brought their A-game and were put through a series of team-building exercises that challenged their physical, social and mental strength. From the wheelbarrow race, to the longest planking competition, the sports hall was buzzing with energy and team spirit. 

Participants from each hall came together as one, to support and encourage each other, however in the end, there can only be one winner, and that hall for 2019 was MGM! 

Traditions of Home 

The Traditions of Home is an event where participants have the opportunity to showcase their culture and traditions from their home country. This year there were 24 incredible performances from 14 different countries. It truly was an evening of celebration as participants danced, sung and generously offered delicious treats from back home.

Optional visits 

For many participants, this was their very first time in London. Fortunately, LIYSF had a variety of optional visits available to experience the sights, scenes and culture London and wider England has to offer. Between visiting the London Eye, exploring Stonehenge & Salisbury, seeing the Buckingham Palace and watching one of the many music theatre shows, there is always something to do! 

Participants were also taken on scientific visits to the renowned Oxford and Cambridge University, as well as given an opportunity to explore London’s prestigious Natural History and Science Museum. 

Written by Minushika Punchihewa


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