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Katie Forbes

Katie ForbesKatie Forbes was 17 when she took part in the project. This is what she had to say about her experience:

"I am currently in my sixth year at Kincorth Academy with a keen interest in marine biology and scuba diving. So when the opportunity to take part in a Nuffield Project at Marine Scotland presented itself I leapt at the chance to return to the laboratory after my weeks work experience previously in 2008. The project would last six weeks, the duration of my summer holidays.

The project I worked on at Marine Scotland was the calibration of flow meters and finding the efficiency of plankton nets used in sampling off the coast of Stonehaven on board the Temora. What seemed like a simple problem at first, soon began to develop whole new levels of complication, which required problem solving and a great deal of time to come up with methods and calculations which over came some of these difficulties.

To carry out the calibrations I ran experiments at sea, these proved difficult on many fronts, because of sea conditions which made it hard to get accurate flow meter readings unaffected by tide and weather. I also ran some experiments in the laboratory which involved the design of a simple flume tank to get much more consistent results and also the idea of using simple tools (e.g. a drill) to see if the flow meters were reading consistently.

Following the experimental phase of my placement I had to produce a report and poster for Nuffield which is to be presented at an awards ceremony in Surgeon's Hall Edinburgh during September.

The whole experience at the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen has been fantastic; I've learnt so much and gained an insight in to many different types of work in marine science. I feel that this project has prepared me more for life after secondary school in a way that my school never could. I would suggest to anyone who has the opportunity to carry out a Nuffield project like this to take full advantage of this life changing experience.

I hope to complete my last year at Kincorth Academy; and hopefully advance to study marine biology at university and move on to work in a career which I have dreamt of pursuing for quite some time."