u3a research database

Fifty most recently added projects

1086Collection of WW2 memories by members of Warrington u3a Family History Group, portraying the roles that their parents and other ancestors carried out, whether military or civilian, but with the emphasis on the many civilian tasks undertaken - eg Home Guard, Air Raid Precautions wardens etc.
1085High Street Project: Canterbury u3a is involved in this national u3a project and is recording pictures of Canterbury city centre.
1084Family History 'Hints, Tips and Information' Booklet compiled by Warrington u3a Family History Group.
1083This project will help us to evaluate a new questionnaire which asks individuals why they may decide to buy, take in or keep items in their home. We hope it will help researchers and clinicians to support those who have difficulties related to this, specifically problems with hoarding.
1082This is a study about how we make judgements about other people’s personalities, cognitive abilities and thoughts. The study is completed online and involves watching video-recorded interviews and answering some questions about them.
1081Thornbury U3A has set up English classes for Ukrainians to help refugees in their area to learn the language.
1080A network has been set up for U3A members interested in astronomy and spaceflight. It is hoped it will become an online 'club' where members can share information.. As it is such a huge subject area, the site is broken down into topics such as cosmology, astronomy, space missions and exploration, the night sky and the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence.
1079Worcester u3a: attendance at presentation meetings - historical review and member survey 2022
1078The history of the main shopping area of Leigh on sea, Essex. Members of the group researched particular types of shops and designed an A1 sized display board.
1077Headlines from the survey of member communications
1076Holywood is the only town in Ireland which still has a maypole and the Holywood History group researched the history of maypoles in the town, back to 1625.
1075We are looking for participants interested in contributing to our understanding of how vision can help us listen better in noisy environments. This research is funded by the UCLH/UCL Biomedical Research Centre. You would be taking part in our study of speech perception, which is a paid opportunity. This involves running a set of speech perception-related tasks in a single visit at the UCL Ear Institute
1074Experiences of COVID lockdowns on Family History Group members and their young relatives, have been compiled into a booklet by Warrington u3a Family History Group.
1073Arts engagement and wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic: a survey of Canterbury and District u3a members Previous research has shown that the Covid pandemic has had a negative effect on the wellbeing of the general population. It has also suggested that engaging with the arts and creative activities can confer wellbeing benefits. We conducted an online survey and ran focus groups on Zoom to explore members' experiences of this during lockdown. We found that there was engagement with a variety of arts-related activities among our members and that this related to a number of wellbeing dimensions.
1072The effects of changes in shopping practice in Huntingdon
1071The shops or buildings on the corners of streets.
1070The Danish creolisation of English hypothesis. The cases and adjectival agreement of Old English disappeared rather quickly around 1132 in the East Midlands. We suspect Danes changed language.
1069Over fourteen years, Anorak Communications at Crewkerne U3A has grown from very humble beginnings to become makers of professional social history films.
1068Volunteers needed to transcribe the manuscript notebooks of chemist and poet Sir Humphrey Davy. This is an online project so available to anyone in the country.
1067A continuation of the funded project to bring this Collection to new audiences, a new SLP will look at social history through the many advertisements in the theatre programmes.
1066What started out as a survey of local high streets led to Barnsley u3a members connecting with their area’s history and feeding into the vision for its future. 2020 saw the birth of the u3a High Street Project with members across the movement looking at the pandemic’s impact on local shops and the communities using them. Barnsley u3a’s local history groups developed a relationship with the local museum, ‘Experience Barnsley’, and now have an ongoing display filled with artefacts donated and lent by Barnsley u3a members. The group have big plans for future displays – and are currently considering an upcoming focus on memories of food. A new group was formed researching the history of individual streets – a particularly interesting discovery was a pipe smoking competition, held in 1937. u3a members are now working with the council as part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone.
1065Trust u3a has a new group - How Trade Grew the World: A new Economic History. Trade is the lifeblood of economic growth. And although globalisation may be in a period of retreat, especially since the pandemic, the changes that have been wrought by the increased connectedness of the world have had a huge impact on both highly-developed and newly-developing economies.The aim of this group is to explore collaboratively how all these elements have interacted to create our modern world. Even in the last few weeks, huge changes have been happening to the shape of the global economy, from cereal production and distribution to the availability of the rare earths and metals that make all electronics possible. The group’s approach will be to choose some top-level topics and explore these by individual research with presentations that fit together so that we can learn and understand our complex world depends on trade in all types of commodities.
1064The Song and the Story began as a special interest group within the Calverton & District u3a in the summer of 2019. A song often conveys a great story, and many stories have inspired song-writers to pick up a guitar or sit at a piano to put the story to music. This interplay between stories and songs is what has inspired our group. Our own journey has, in itself, become a story of how a group of strangers came together and, through music, songs, stories, poetry, paintings, and lots of laughter, became friends. One of the great things about this group is the way in which it has evolved: I started out merely wanting to explore the back-story to folk songs. Once the group formed, however, members began to bring their own ‘oral histories’ and ideas to the party. We now share the research, presentations and ideas for appropriate stories and songs.
1063Since completing our first major project at Southminster Hall uncovering a previously unknown early medieval stone ‘palace’ built for the Bishops of London, Burnham's Archaeology Group has moved on. Over the winter we were asked by the Heritage and Conservation specialist at Maldon District Council to look for one of the vanished Elizabethan ranges at Creeksea Place, we found the walls and were able to record our findings in the professional way we’ve been trained. We’re going back in the Autumn to look for the staircase!
1062Having run a study investigating how older people understand speech in noisy places (like cafes and restaurants), we are looking to publish these results. Following up on this work we are now running another study looking at brain responses, using an MEG scan. One of our objectives is to provide the groundwork for the development of clinical tests to improve diagnosis and treatment of specific hearing problems. Recent evidence also suggests these may be correlated with earlier onset of dementia, and we believe that this makes this kind of research even more relevant.
1061U3A members are needed to help improve housing for older people, by taking part in consumer research to produce a new ISO standard for age-friendly housing.
1060Market Research Report: People who have recently left full time work
1059There are many active science discussion groups throughout u3a so it is perhaps surprising there has been relatively little in the way of practical science work. Chichester has remedied that by leading its members through practical experiments in biology, physics and chemistry, both for non-scientists and broadening the horizons of those who are skilled but in a very narrow area.
1058The Human Microbiome Pt1 - is the ecological community of microorganisms that literally share our body space. An adult human is said to host over ten times as many (very tiny) bacterial cells as human cells, representing between a few hundred grams and fourteen hundred grams. These are sometimes referred to as the forgotten organ and which are vital for our survival and wellbeing. We need a broad spectrum of Probiotic Bacteria in and on our bodies to promote good health. We also have a wide selection of important viruses in our Guts. In one gram of faeces there are 100M bacteria, 100M viruses, skin cells, yeasts, and other fungi – so it is not just the bacteria. The relationship between the makeup of a person’s microbiota and their immune systems function, nutritional health, body form, and obesity, plus disease incidence such as MS, Crones disease, IBS, and Parkinson’s disease are all now under detailed study by Scientists, globally.
1057The science, history and politics of the Manhattan Project: the Atomic Bomb
1056A review of the size/sale of our universe, with details as to how distances to objects in our universe are measured.
1055We would like to know how well commercial hearing aids perform in situations that you may often experience. Many hard-of-hearing people complain about their hearing aids in noisy or reverberant places, for example in a restaurant, a car or kitchen. However, manufacturers rarely try out their products in such daily environments, typically using artificial sounds in laboratory settings. Hence, it is difficult to know which hearing aid works best in different real life situations. I
1054The purpose of this study is to better understand how people over 65 form beliefs about their ability to remember things and how these beliefs may positively or negatively impact their life experiences.
1053Article in The Bristol Magazine about the benefits of belonging to Bristol U3A and taking part in its activities
1052The Dulwich Tree Identification and Sketching group records leaves and fruits at different stages in the year and look at the trees in detail; the shapes and the bark and the flowers. One thing we’ve noticed looking at trees this way is that all trees are producing flowers, fruit and seeds – not just conventional fruit trees.
1051Ayr's tree-spotting group began as just that, a chance to get out and find real trees. We had started to venture further afield to interesting areas such as Galloway Forest Park and the Isle of Arran, when the pandemic arrived. Our members have been fortunate to avoid covid (touch wood!), but naturally we have had to adapt to the circumstances. For several months when even the smallest of outdoor gatherings was impossible, we held monthly themed zoom meetings. Members were encouraged to research a topic of the month, such as tree mythology, and give a short presentation of their findings. This certainly widened the scope of our discussions, and may well be something we repeat in future.
1050Brunels' Tunnel. which connected Rotherhithe and Wapping, was constructed between 1825 and 1843. It was the first ever tunnel dug under a river and is still in use today as the route for TFLs Overground Railway. However the Brunels did not dig the tunnel themselves, they had a large workforce probably around 36 men on each shift and two shifts a day plus lots of other labourers doing a variety of other support tasks. The museum has good records of the tunnelers who perished whilst working on the tunnel but very limited records of the rest of the workforce. This is where our SLP may be able to help. Our project is likely to research the workforce, what were their names? where did they live? what about their families - did they move with them or stay at home? Indeed where were their homes? were they recruited from the tin mines of Cornwall or the coal mines of Somerset?
1049Write That Play! is a ten-week playwriting course for new and experienced playwrights, presented in conjunction with Citadel Arts of Edinburgh. Participants will work together on all aspects of writing plays and we plan to engage a small group of professional actors to perform work produced by course members. After the course participants will have the opportunity to join a playwriting group to further develop their writing skills and experience.
1048The Science of Drug Abuse in Sport. The World Anti-Doping Agency may state that “Doping is Fundamentally Contrary to the Spirit of Sport”, but reports of sportspeople caught using drugs have been common for at least 50 years. This presentation will cover the mechanisms of action and the performance effects of a number of drugs commonly abused in a range of different sports, including those used to enhance endurance, for increasing strength, and for reduction of pain and fatigue. The side-effects of these drugs, ranging from acne to death, will also be discussed.
1047For over a hundred years, the ultimate recognition of ground-breaking scientific research has been the award of a Nobel Prize. But there’s another series of annual awards, less prestigious but no less cherished, which honour, not the greatest achievements in science, but the funniest. They’re called the Ig Nobel Prizes, and, since their launch in 1991, they’ve provided a humorous insight into the quirky side of scientific research. This light-hearted presentation takes a look back at some of the most improbable of prize-winners.
1046SETI – the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence and having fun with the Drake Equation – is anybody out there? And if they are, then where are they, and how many civilisations are likely? Are we alone; one of the most fundamental questions we can ask? This presentation covers the SETI search and the attempts to estimate the number of intelligent, technologically advanced alien civilisations in our Milky Way galaxy. We will look at the Drake Equation and its various parameters, and the range of estimates it predicts.
1045Flint; a geological explanation of how it is formed, as well as where to find it, how to recognise it and its uses.
1044COVID-19: Survey of Worcester U3A members attitudes towards re-starting U3A activities (2021)
1043We are seeking participants for an online study that investigates how listening abilities change during healthy aging. The study will involve listening to various artificial and speech sounds and answering some questions about them.
1042Grocery shopping is considered one of the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living which helps older people live independently. This research aims to explore the grocery shopping experiences in a physical store of customers aged 65 and over in the UK and to design better solutions by using emerging technologies that supermarkets could adopt.
1040The U3A Future Lives Group is looking at several aspects of Ageing Well - Positive Ageing; Housing; Care and Carers. The Housing group has produced a questionnaire to help people reflect on whether the place where they live at present will be suitable for their future lives.
1039A project to examine older adults’ views and experiences of using herbal medicines and dietary supplements to promote health in later life. This will involve one to one interviews, conducted online or by telephone. This is an important subject especially as we climb out of the pandemic and should provide an overview of the healthcare issues that older adults choose to address using herbal medicine/dietary supplements. Are they preventative or taken when users are unwell or diagnosed with a condition? Do they discuss any of this choice with GP's and healthcare professionals and what is the feedback from this? The study will also look at the polypharmacy awareness aspects and potential interactions with traditional prescribed medication.
1038Based on the Cary Ellison Theatre programme collection, held at Kingston University, this is a combination of research and personal memories of lost theatre venues across the UK
1037VOICES THROUGH TIME: THE STORY OF CARE We need your help to turn our vast archive collection into documents that can be easily accessed and read online. Thomas Coram established The Foundling Hospital in 1739, as the UK’s first home for children whose mothers were unable to care for them. Today, the charity Coram continues to support vulnerable children and young people. Our archive contains thousands of handwritten records, going back to the 1700s, which contain the stories of children who were cared for at the Foundling Hospital. With your help transcribing these records, we can make them available online for the first time. We can find out more about the lives of children in care in the past, the institutions that cared for them, the history of Coram and the story of care in the UK.
1036The Beetle Project is looking at strategies which aim to improve recovery and reduce time spent in hospital for older adults who go in for planned procedures. We would like to work with people aged 60 or over who have been admitted to hospital overnight for a planned procedure; or carers, family, and friends who have supported older adults around their hospital admission. A ‘planned procedure’ is basically a non-emergency admission to hospital for something like surgery. We are creating an advisory group to ensure the perspectives of patients and carers are considered and addressed.