The eye-mazing Research Assistants

Whey-EYE man! Welcome to another blog from the Asteroid Team.

As we sift through our data collection, we have finally found some time to introduce ourselves! We have visited so many schools in Newcastle, and many of you might be wondering, “I had a great time learning and playing on Asteroid, but who were those lovely ladies giving out lots of stickers and certificates?”. Well, wonder no more! Here are the Asteroid Research Assistants (RA’s):

RA #1 Carla F. Black

Favourite Asteroid game: Football planet – I’ve always been a football fan!

Favourite food: Pasta Bolognese – I had to give that answer, being half-Italian!

Favourite animal: Possibly baby meerkats (for the cuteness factor)

Hi everyone! As part of the Asteroid team, I am thoroughly enjoying working alongside my friendly, knowledgeable colleagues on such a worthwhile vision project and engaging young children in science.

On each visit we make to schools, nurseries and museums around the region, we are greeted by wonderful and enthusiastic children, keen to try out our eye games. And as a mum to two wonderful sons (aged 5 and 2), being out on these visits certainly feels like home from home to me.

Being from a science background originally (I worked as an optometrist before moving into finance and then having my children), it is also really rewarding to see the children we work with finding science so fun and interesting.

Away from work, my hobbies nowadays tend to be taking my sons to theirs  (e.g. swimming, sports or toddler groups, days out to the beach or park in all weathers) and spending time with family and friends.

Look out for “Team Asteroid” at a museum, school or nursery near you, soon… look forward to hopefully meeting you then.

RA #2 Jess G. Hugill

Favourite Asteroid game: Chicken farm (of course!)

Favourite food: So hard to choose! Probably a nice cheesy pasta… or pizza… or chocolate…

Favourite animal: Probably cats – especially my big fluffy cat called Salem!

H-eye there everyone! It has been so brilliant to be a part of the Asteroid team the last few months. Who knew that there was a job that involved being able to travel around Newcastle, meeting amazing kids and playing eye games every day?! I definitely feel very lucky! Before I started this job, I worked as a teacher (I know…sorry!) I then went back to Uni to get my Masters in Psychology but I really missed working with kids every day, so it is a dream to have found a job that fits both of my interests. When I’m not at work I love to run, ski, cycle and (most importantly) EAT! Luckily for me, my lovely Research Assistant buddies share my love of food. We even sometimes treat ourselves to cake after a hard day of work!

RA #3 Therese P. Casanova    

Favourite Asteroid Game: Shape World

Favourite food: Today it’s lasagne. Ask me again tomorrow!

Favourite animal: Penguins. They are always planning something…

It is so great to be part of the ASTEROID project, as well as to be part of a fabulous team of Research Assistants to collect data from great schools in and around Newcastle. Every school we have visited has been so welcoming to us, and every child has been pleasure to work with! Now, a little bit about me… I finished my undergraduate degree in Applied Psychology from Durham University in 2012, and I am now almost to the end of my Master’s degree in Health Psychology (gulp!). I have had plenty of experience working with younger people – I have worked as an administrative assistant and as a tutor in schools before. My hobbies are what you would call eclectic. I like to read, play badminton, and to sing. I have recently gotten into swimming, as I thought it was about time that I learn how to!

RA #4 Sheima K. Rafiq 

Favourite Asteroid game: Shape World (nothing beats Mr Square’s birthday party!)

Favourite food: Rice – in all shapes and forms. Oh and watermelon 🙂

Favourite animal: Penguins as they are cool, cute and can swim in the sea – I love the sea

Heyyy everyone! It has been a wonderful experience testing so many of you in schools, nurseries and at various museums. I hope you had as much fun as we did. Prior to this job, I worked as an Orthoptist testing children and adults in the eye clinic in hospital. An Orthoptist is a special eye person that looks at your eyes carefully to ensure they are working well together as they should be, sometimes Orthoptists might prescribe patching to help your vision and use fun pictures and cool prisms and funky glasses to test your eyes. You might see a few in your school soon. Now, with the boring bit over, a little about me… I love to read books, paint canvases and I enjoy baking cakes (and eating them of course). I speak 3 languages plus a little bit of Danish as I was born in Copenhagen – the capital of Denmark which houses the famous little mermaid statue and offers the most delicious pastries. Yumm.

Research Assistants, left to right: Jessica, Sheima, Carla, Therese

We hope you enjoyed learning a bit about us! Stayed tuned and watch this space for more of our blogs from #TeamASTEROID

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