Wed, 30 Mar 2011
Speech and Language Therapy students take the stand at National Science and Engineering and Week
University of East Anglia Speech and Language Therapy students and staff, along with colleagues from science, and the NHS Primary Health and Care Trust were out in force at the Norwich Castle Museum last weekend running stands at the ‘Look Who’s Talking’ event, part of National Science and Engineering and Week.
Youngsters, and adults, from across the county and region had the opportunity to find out more about communications and science. Among a range of activities, visitors were able to learn about how bats communicate, how Morse code was used during the war, how to make a cup and string phone, and see a telephone switchboard from the 1920s. The Speech and Language team set up a stand to show how technology could be used to identify and measure emotional aspects of communication, such as happy, angry, or sad. Children of all ages had the opportunity to listen and match emotional content to soundwaves and spectograms and then have a go at recording and analysing their own attempts of producing emotional language. Most visitors managed to produce soundwaves and spectograms that indicated that they were ‘happy’, though one mother recorded (and printed out) an ‘angry’ instructions saying to her children: “next time I’m mad with you I will just hold up this soundwave so you know that I’m angry”.
Dr Christine Raschka, Senior Lecturer in the School of Allied Health Professions, said, “The event was a great opportunity to show what we do and how we can use innovation to help people to communicate in all sorts of ways. It was great to see everybody joining in with such enthusiasm.” She continued, “This year has also seen the launch of the “National Year of Communication - ‘Hello’ campaign” by the Communication Trust and in association with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. The “National Year of Communication” aims to make communication for all children and young people a priority in homes and schools across the UK so that they can live life to the full – and staff and students will be supporting other events through the year.”
Julie Pass, second year SLT student (pictured), said, “It was a great day and everybody enjoyed it. Quite apart from the fun on the stands, I think we opened people’s eyes to the possibilities what can be achieved through science and technology in helping us communicate.”
UEA’s Speech and Language courses are continually recognised for excellence and rank highly in both student surveys and league tables: recently courses in Speech & Language Therapy scored 100% satisfaction across a number of measures in a national student survey and for five years running UEA has been placed in the top five universities in the UK for student satisfaction.
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