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Marine Scotland Science


Marie wins her category at the Big Bang - the The National Science and Engineering Competition 2012

Marie is awarded a British Association of Science Gold award for her project. Well done Mairi!

Mairi Bell

Mairi Bell

Mairi Bell was 16 when she took part in the project. This is what she had to say about her epxerience:

"I am just about to start my 6th year at Hazlehead Academy, where I hope to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics at Advanced Higher level. Near the end of my 5th year I was made aware of the Nuffield scheme and applied for a Nuffield Bursary and the opportunity to complete a project at Marine Scotland Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen. I was delighted to be given the project, where I would attempt to develop a new technique to determine if shrimp eggs were viable.

I have always had a keen interest in biology and molecular and marine biology have been areas I have often wanted to be further involved with, so I was delighted to be given the opportunity to undertake a scientific research project in this field. The project seemed mind-bogglingly complex to start with, but as we worked through the experiments and I read more about the project I gained a huge understanding of what it was we were actually trying to achieve, how we were going about it and why it was such a big deal! I got to grips with what we needed to try and do to successfully use fluorescent stains to determine the viability of crustacea eggs and eventually managed to develop a viable technique for staining shrimp eggs with a stain called Alexa Fluor 488.

Throughout the project I learned a huge amount about the field and gained a valuable insight into scientific research and techniques, mainly due to the inexhaustible patience and understanding of the mentors I was working with, as well as learning a lot about what I may want to do after I finish school, and hopefully university.

Although working very hard every day on their own jobs, my mentors put me at my ease and explained some fairly tricky science in a way that I was able to understand and more importantly make use of in my project

I would like to thank all the staff at Marine Scotland Science for all their help and encouragement during my project, I really enjoyed every minute of it."