Summer School 2020

Here, at DC Labs we are very proud of the Summer School. We are proud to see how the scholars develop and we love that they keep in touch when they leave us. We are building an auspicious group of alumni. 

So at the start of 2020 the planning process started as usual and the projects were developed by our sparky researchers and advertising for scholars began. Applications flooded in.

And then COVID happened...

The University immediately responded to the situation. Working from home began with immediate effect and all plans for non-virtual meetings were cancelled. The bells were tolling for the demise of Summer School 2020. Or so it seemed.

The applications were just too good to pass by. We began to investigate the possibility of running a scaled-down Summer School online. At first, it was deemed to be too complicated and labour-intensive for the supervisors especially as they were already having to adapt to conducting their collaborative research in a new way. But we persevered. Some of the projects were just too hands-on to convert to online but a couple of projects started to seem viable. These were projects that had garnered some great applicants. With some internal wrangling, permissions were sought and the students accepted.  Summer School 2020 was on! (line).

Enter our 3 scholars: Hetty Patterson, Marco Kwok and Zulekha Samiullah. 

The Final Hurdle

Hetty, a biology student from Durham University, was working on producing a survey for an existing project we are doing with the Press Association (PA) around audience engagement with horse racing. The challenge here was to gain insight into the perspectives of younger audiences and how the sport could be made more appealing to them. DC Labs already has a strong link with accessing and using this type of data in esports through our role as University research partner on the Weavr project. The collaboration with PA is looking at how we can use performance data in entertaining and engaging ways alongside sporting events to educate and engage a general audience who don't have in-depth knowledge of the sport. Hetty thoroughly immersed herself in the project, structuring and delivering an intensive questionnaire, and running focus groups and participant surveys. The results of Hetty's work will be far-reaching and will inform a much bigger study. Hetty has learned a lot and can take these skills forward into her ongoing research career. Hetty has been inspired to apply for a Masters and we would like to think that DC Labs has been an important stepping stone in illuminating her future path.

Game Design Ethics

Marco and Zulekha (both York students from Psychology and Physics, respectively) were paired on the Game Design Ethics project. The project required gathering both quantitative and qualitative research data from a huge pool of participants and the development of the questionnaires to capture the information. Both students were new to this form of research but were supervised by a team of researchers from DC Labs and quickly formed a strong working bond. Never in DC Labs’ history have we seen a more prolific team! Using Discord, a communication platform used by gamers, everyday the system pinged into the wee small hours as they worked together forming and reforming ideas for their survey and the data to gather - it was inspirational. Marco and Zulekha's impressive body of work will go on to form the basis of research papers. Their supervisors have been delighted with the results and have been quick to praise their work. It is clear that there is a very bright academic future for both Marco and Zulekha.

"If you apply for a project you're truly interested in, that passion will shine through both in your application, and in your work with the department, and you'll really be able to make the most of the experience... I now feel confident to write a research proposal for a Masters or PhD, as I now have experience designing a methodology, conducting a survey, conducting focus groups, and analysing both qualitative and quantitative data"

Hetty Patterson, DC Labs Scholar 2020