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A group of students got a taste of research at Oxford earlier this month when they spent a day analysing data at our Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute.

Havant and South Downs College had been planning to delay their start time in light of the evidence showing that the adolescent body clock delays during puberty and they find it hard to focus in the morning.

This whole experience has enriched the curriculum for our participating students. The trip  gave students the opportunity to make their own conclusions about the data collected and I was keen to get a sneak peek of the results.  - Jodie Parsons, Learning Manager for STEM A Levels, Havant and South Downs College

They got in touch with Rachel Sharman from our Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute after finding out about her work through the Wellcome Trust's 'I'm a Scientist, Get me Out of Here'. Rachel won a £500 grant from the Physiological Society to take forward a project with the college students.

She worked with them to measure their sleep and gather student body opinions on the change in start time. Some of the students came to Oxford to work with the data and prepare posters for a presentation evening at the school in March.

Jess, a Year 13 student, said: 'I found the trip inspiring and it was great to have the opportunity to analyse such extensive primary data which is a rarity during A level studies.'

During their visit, researchers demonstrated EEG, discussed the science of sleep, and talked about how to write a scientific poster. The students also enjoyed a tour of Brasenose College.

"This whole experience has enriched the curriculum for our participating HSDC students. From start to finish Dr Rachel Sharman has been available to answer questions from our students about data collection, investigation design and ethics. The trip was a great way to round of the experience and gave students the opportunity to make their own conclusions about the data collected and I was keen to get a sneak peek of the results. I look forward to our outreach event at HSDC Havant in March to publish the findings to the public." (Jodie Parsons, Learning Manager for STEM A levels, HSDC Havant)