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Meet Rowan, the 27 year old Manx woman who is part of an all-woman ‘Exxpedition’ to the North Pacific Garbage Patch, which aims to raise awareness of the problem of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Rowan was born and raised on the Isle of Man, and attended Castle Rushen High School before studying ‘Ocean and Marine Science’ at Plymouth University for her under and postgraduate degrees.
Rowan was in the process of finishing off her university honours project when she heard about a group of women sailing around Britain on scientific expedition; studying the effect of plastic pollution on Britain’s coastline! Pleasantly surprised to find an all female expedition, she quickly sent off an application, despite them not having advertised any vacancies! A few months of waiting followed before the ladies extended an invitation to Rowan to join their North Pacific Expedition.
The members of the expedition will meet in Hawaii before setting sail for a duration of three and a half weeks! The expedition is focused around collecting samples for several large-scale studies, different studies want different kinds of samples, some want water samples; some want us to filter out the plastics from the water. Rowan and her team members will even be taking samples of their own blood and hair to see how plastic pollution will effecting them! The data supplied by this expedition will prove a valuable asset for the studies around the world; Rowan will also be recording the events as they unfold in an attempt to raise awareness of the scale and extent of the damage caused by plastic in the oceans.
Rowan is currently trying to raise £6000 which will go towards travel and the expedition itself! Rowan has raised over £5000 pounds; she also has two events planned on the Isle of Man; the first event was at the start of May at the Foraging Vintners in Port Erin, it was a Hawaiian themed fundraiser and saw MHK Laurence Skelly walk the plank into a huge vat of water. The second event will be an overview of the expedition itself as it is going to take place after the expedition, and will be a Canadian themed evening with live music at Noa Bakehouse
Following a conversation with Rowan, she mentioned that she is not only interested in the research, but also how she will handle herself being at sea for almost a month. In addition, Rowan said that working with such inspirational women has been a motivating force throughout the fundraising process and will undoubtedly be a solid support network through the duration of the expedition! Another important aspect is the fact the expedition is an all-female affair. In the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) sectors, woman only occupy 13% of the STEM workforce. The expedition will assemble a crew of inspiring females from all over the world to help redress the balance and encourage more woman to move into science and exploration.
Rowan has kindly agreed to be an ambassador for Manx Youth Organisation. The charitable organisation aims to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged children across the Island. Nigel Watson the founder has selected a few ambassadors in the past and Rowan will be an invaluable and inspirational addition!
We wish Rowan all the best on her expedition you can follow the expeditions progress on: http://exxpedition.com/northpacific/
This BBC video follows four young entrepreneurs: Kate, Annie, Akshay and Henry. These young entrepreneurs are making millions and have some top tips for business!
Sisters Kate (17) and Annie (16), run an equine supplement business together to help prevent horses getting stomach ulcers; included in their customer base are 5 royal families! Kate and Annie’s story is one of perseverance as it took them over 150 attempts before perfecting the recipe for the supplements!
Akshay (19) owns a online estate agency which is roughly worth £12 million at the time of writing.
Henry,(15) sells children’s books across 60 different countries.
All of these young entrepreneurs share common traits: Drive, perseverance and ambition!
Think you have what it takes? Watch the video and find out:
Many people experience anxiety.
Anxiety stems from past experiences, the body knows what to expect such as: restlessness, heightened heart-rate and sweaty palms. For some people this anxiety is so bad that they cannot even function in their current situation, such as being unable to sit an exam. Needless to say, anxiety can become a seriously limiting factor to our success in education, our sports and pastimes and life in general.
When attacked by a predator, an animal either runs or fights or freezes this is known as the ‘fight or flight’ response. Anxiety is physiologically caused by inappropriate triggering of the flight or fight response, this could be in groups of large people, while taking an exam or in any non-threatening situation. Lisa Barrett stipulates, that those sweaty palms, that hammering heartbeat may not be anxiety, rather it could be your body preparing to do ‘Battle and ace that test.’
Studies show, that when student learn to harness what was previously dubbed as ‘anxiety’ that they perform better on tests and can change the way their brain perceives tests in the future, ‘they can get their [stomach] butterflies to fly in formation,’ — this can be seen as emotional intelligence in action.
Can you relate to waking up with dread? Your mind racing with concerns as regards all the tasks of the day ahead, the work you have to do…. etc. This is the brain searching for predictive data of what might be. Looking for ways of creating anxiety based upon the past.
The past is the past, the present is now and the future is what we can effect.
Perhaps nothing is really wrong and there is a physical explanation for how you feel starting your day. You are too tired due to not enough sleep, dehydrated even ill from a physical disease or illness. Nothing to do with emotions. These physical reasons just make starting the day hard but can be remedied or prepared for, get a good night’s sleep, stay hydrated and be aware of your health reacting to the needs of your body.
We all have greater control over our emotions than we imagine.
We could construct our future experiences differently, there is a lot of research to support this position. In doing so we are training the brain to think in a different way. Not basing the information it is giving us so much on the past but considering how we are today, understanding how we have prepared for that event and empowering ourselves to just perform better. Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
‘Emotions are built and not built in.’
The message of this piece is that if we have greater control of our emotions then we are also responsible for them and hence personally more accountable for our behaviour.
By accepting this position we have a path to a healthier body and emotional life.
If you wish to find out more about this topic, please follow the sources link below to watch a short video which this piece was based on.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/201604/panic-fight-or-flight – [Last accessed 09.01.18]
How has Iceland managed to turn its teenage substance abuse around?
Iceland had one of the worst teenage drinking and drug problems in Europe during the 80’s and 90’s. By 2017 it had one of the best. This BBC segment gives us an insight into the Icelandic mindset and how they tackled the problem.
This mind-boggling transformation has taken place country-wide over the course of just 30 years. Heralded as a great success, the programme has now been adopted by 35 other countries. The key to that success is multi-faceted, combining scientific evidence, family & community values, and a political will which has released in excess of 100 million euros of government funding per year for youth activities.
Follow the below link to watch the full-length video.
Interested in what makes the teenage brain tick? This fascinating BBC Radio gives some interesting insights.
Until recently, it was thought that human brain development was all over by early childhood but research in the last decade has shown that the adolescent brain is still changing into early adulthood. Jim Al-Khalili talks to pioneering cognitive neuroscientist Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore who is responsible for much of the research which shows that our brains continue to develop through the teenage years. She discusses why teenagers take risks and are so susceptible to influence from their peers as well as her childhood growing up with the constant threat of attacks from animal rights groups.
You can listen to the podcast using the below player or download the MP3 file by clicking on the image:
Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Bursaries. Travel to make a Difference.
Manx Youth Opportunities will be pleased to offer help and advice to any young person on the island who wants to apply for a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Bursary.
The grants are made to young people from all walks of life who want to travel overseas and bring back knowldge and best practice for the benefit of others in their UK professionas and communities.
Since 1965, 4500 Britons have travelled the world thanks to a Winston Churchill bursary. Hear some of their stories in the video below.
The grants are available to any British citizen. You can apply direct on the Winston Churchill Memoral Trust website (www.wcmt.org.uk), or contact Manx Youth Opportunities for more information.