Budding Milton Keynes scientist to present research to MPs in final of national competition

A scientist from Milton Keynes will present her research to politicians and a panel of expert judges on March 4.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 4:23 pm

Heidi Thiemann from Olney a postgraduate research student at the Open University is set to compete in the STEM for BRITAIN on Thursday March 4.

The annual poster competition is typically held in the House of Commons and sees astrophysics early career researchers battle it out.

This year's event will run virtually with the winners announced online this Monday on March 8.

Milton Keynes scientist Heidi Thiemann is competing in front of MPs at this year's STEM for BRITAIN event on March 4

The aim of the competition is to give members of both Houses of Parliament an insight into the research work being undertaken in UK universities by early-career researchers.

Judged by leading academics, the gold medalist receives £1000, while silver and bronze receive £750 and £500 respectively.

Heidi’s poster will be judged against dozens of other scientists’ research, in the only national competition of its kind. Her presentation focuses on counting and identifying rare kinds of stars and how that helps us understand more about the universe.

Heidi said: "I'm looking forward to talking to parliamentarians about how members of the public can play an important part in real astrophysics research happening in the UK."

The young Milton Keynes scientist's presentation is based around work done using ‘the Zooniverse’. This platform allows scientist volunteers to sift through observations of 1.6 million variable stars to identify the most extreme and unique ones.

Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said:

“This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to see the work of a wide range of the country’s best young researchers.

“These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future and STEM for BRITAIN is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them, virtually on this occasion, and understand their work.”