Well done with Global Step Challenge

Well, this is it folks, the end of our journey with the Big Bang Global Step Challenge but this doesn’t mean that you must stop there. Walking is the most popular Japanese exercise method, making it the perfect place for us to end our journey as you begin yours. We encourage you to be as active as you can be, the benefits of exercise do not only help with heart disease, weight management and blood pressure, the list really is endless. Simply swapping short car journeys for walking or cycling can have huge benefits physically and mentally, we cannot stress enough that there really is no amount that is “too little”. We could say there is no time like the present to start being active, but you’ve already started by taking part in our Big Bang Global Step Challenge. For a healthier you, KEEP IT UP!

We really hope you have enjoyed your time with us here at Staffs Uni and the Big Bang. We hope you’ve learnt new things, discovered new options and pathways to your goals, met new people and counted many steps along the way. Most importantly we hope you’ve had fun and that our footpaths cross again soon!

Blog written by Staffordshire University placement students: Adam Olivier  Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science;  Kaliya Rostron  Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science; Steven Lloyd-Jones Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biology

Sports students at Nippon University Japan

Take. A. Bow. We’ve done it! We have managed to walk nearly 12,000,000 steps which lands us nicely at our last stopping point of our journey today, Japan. Congratulations to every individual who took part, it really would not be possible without your collective efforts. Did you know between you all, around 300,000 calories have been burned, plenty of new friends have been made, excellent interaction with our event has taken place, hours of fun have been had and all whilst you’ve improved your health and wellbeing. Wow!

Japan, home of the rising sun, is a world where tradition and technology meet in such a vibrant culture. Birthplace of the Walkman, designed to provide music while you walk, run or jog. Many years on, it now seems a primitive device that helped ignite our current mobile technology craze.

Formed of many islands such as Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu, with the main island Honshu approximately 140 miles or 280,000 steps wide at the widest point and, 810 miles or 1,620,000 steps long. This means our Big Bang Global Step Challenge today not only took us to Japan, but this number of steps could see us walk up and down Japan 7 times. Along the way we could stare in amazement at Mount Fuji, Japan’s tallest mountain. With its famous conic shape, it is visible from the most populated city in the world, Tokyo. The mountain is 4600 steps high and has been made more famous with its iconic roads, the home and birthplace of the car drifting craze.

Car crazes aside, let’s visit our last placement students at Nippon University, pictured below.

Staffordshire University is developing an exciting exchange program with Nippon Sport Science University (NSSU), a prestigious sports institute in Japan. This will enable students to experience and understand how different cultures operate in a setting that boasts several Olympic gold medallists among its graduates. Andrew Wood, Lecturer in Sport Psychology, is helping to co-ordinate the visit. He said: “It is one of the most prestigious sports universities and understanding how they train and develop athletes using sports science support, coaching, therapy and all those disciplines will be really valuable”

It also helps in enabling our students, from a range of sports degrees, to experience new opportunities as Abbie Truman mentions “I’ve not really travelled far before so I’m excited to see what’s out there. To experience different culture and learn how they live compared to back in England will be really interesting. It’s been good to get to know the other students on the trip – we are all sharing the same experience.”

The world is out there for you to experience, this connection between Staffs Uni and Nippon is just one of many, and many more to come, that really could take you to where you want to go, to become who you want to be.

Blog written by Staffordshire University placement students: Adam Olivier  Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science;  Kaliya Rostron  Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science; Steven Lloyd-Jones Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biology

Peru, roughly 11,000,000 steps away

Decisions to be made people! We could take a cramped flight from the UK to Peru, zero health benefits, roughly £2000 each and 18 hours long. Or, we could collectively walk there by taking part in The Big Bang Global Step Challenge, enjoying the mental and physical huge array of benefits associated with being active.

The results are in… great choice! All of you taking part have seen us make it to one of our furthest destinations today. Peru, roughly 11,000,000 steps away. This is the birthplace of civilization in the Americas with the Norte Chico tribe living in large-scale settlements from 3100 BC to 1800 BC, long before the birth of western civilization.

Peru houses a section of the Amazon rainforest which provides 20% of the planet’s oxygen and contains an incredibly dense ecosystem, it can even take rainwater 10 minutes to fall from the canopy to the ground. The range of plants and animals found along the Amazon and in Peru is extensive. The diversity of life makes this an ideal place to study biology and experience life in its many forms, it is often studied in terms of conservation as seen with one of our students. Through Staffs Uni and our connections with Operation Wallacea, Eleanor Harrison (pictured below), a level 6 student studying BSc Animal Biology and Conservation was able to visit Peru for their placement. Eleanor studied habitat selection in sympatric crocodilian species in the Peruvian Amazon and also worked in Pacaya-samina national reserve.

The main focus of Eleanor’s work was with Melanosuchus niger (the black caiman) and Caiman crocodilus (the common caiman), comparing their habitats and looking at resource competition. This placement opened up job opportunities and provided Eleanor with many useful contacts from around the world, gave hands on experience in her field of interest and an incredible placement experience.

Let’s continue our adventure, now we are finished with sight-seeing in the Amazon rainforest, we cannot visit Peru without stopping to see the magical 15th-century Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Situated 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level, there is actually over a hundred flights of stairs, or 3000 steps to climb to reach the top. This shows just what can be achieved without machinery and using steps to get to where you want to go!

We have one last stop to make on our Journey, we’re hoping the stairs of Machu Picchu have not gotten the better of you, we need to keep active and reach our final destination, stay tuned!

Blog written by Staffordshire University placement students: Adam Olivier  Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science;  Kaliya Rostron  Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science; Steven Lloyd-Jones Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biology




South Africa

Who do you think won the race? We’d like to think it was you guys so, congratulations on making it to South Africa. Just over 11,000,000 steps away and here is where we will meet our GradEX winning fourth placement student.

Known as the rainbow nation because of its multi-ethnic society, South Africa has developed into a country rich in culture and language producing phenomenal individuals that have secured their place in history forever, most famous being Nelson Mandela. An inspiration to all his words he was able to make steps towards uniting a racially divided country with nothing other than their love for sport, so why not get active and have a game of rugby in honour? South Africa is home to many beautiful natural landmarks including Sand River in KwaZulu-Natal, being 350km long or 459,317 steps we could have walk the length of it 23 times! Whist there you may also want to visit the top-rated reserve, Addo Elephant National Park. Here you can see of course Nelly the Elephant but also the black rhino, buffalos, lions, leopards, great white sharks and sperm whales.

Whist on the topic of elephants this brings us nicely to recent Staffs graduate Amy Huntley who was able to follow her dream and work with Elephants. combining her placement and her final year project looking at the ‘behavioural implication of contraception in male African Elephants’. She was able to pull the sampling techniques that she had learnt in her previous years here, such as performing an ethogram of dominant behaviours, and apply them in a working environment.

This invaluable experience will go a long way to enabling her to spend her career not only working with the world’s largest land animals but helping to protect them. Combining her passion and making a real difference to these animals. Despite their size, elephants are actually pretty nimble and can reach speeds of 40 mph. They can walk up to 121 miles per day, that’s 242,000 human steps. Although, they usually only average 16 miles or 32,000 human steps daily. We challenge you to reach half of the steps of Nelly!

Blog written by Staffordshire University placement students: Adam Olivier  Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science;  Kaliya Rostron  Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science; Steven Lloyd-Jones Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biology

Karibu! (or welcome as we would say), we have just arrived in Kenya

Karibu! (or welcome as we would say), we have just arrived in Kenya, an incredible 4326 miles as the crow flies, which equates to just over 8.5 million steps! An ambitious feat to complete today but we’ve made it. Why not take the scenic route and travel along the River Nile starting at its mouth in the Mediterranean Sea and ending at its source, Lake Victoria in Kisumu, Kenya. It is thought to be the birthplace of humankind, with the earliest bones found in the Tukana Basin dating back to 2000 B.C. It’s Great Rift Valley was formed over 20,000,000 years ago when the earths crust began! Its highest mountain, Mt. Kenya is a whopping 5,199m in height which is equivalent to 6822 steps, succeeded only by Mt Kilimanjaro! Can you climb Mt. Kenya today?

Scenic route complete, Swahili lesson finished, let’s visit another of our fantastic placement students. Whilst in Kenya, Emily Marsh, a level 5 student from Staffs studying Animal Biology and Conservation, completed a 2-week volunteer placement at Soysambu Conservancy doing conservation work. The conservancy located in the Central Rift Valley has the highest wildlife densities of Kenya including 28% of the worlds population of Lesser Flamingo and, it is also the only breeding place for the Great White Pelican in East Africa. Whist there Emily worked under giraffe expert Julian Fennssy monitoring and tracking the estimated 90 giraffes at the conservancy. Continue reading

1,000,000 steps and counting! Find out about AJ experiences in Germany

1,000,000 steps and counting! Congratulations to all those taking part at Staffs Uni in the Big Bang Global Step Challenge, our first milestone is complete. Your combined efforts so far have given us the distance needed to be able to walk to Dublin and back, Denmark or even step foot in Norway, incredible job, well done.

The area of interest we are visiting today though is Germany, the centre of which is roughly 540 miles, or just over 1 million steps from Stoke-on-Trent. Germany houses a wonderful culture of mountains, castles, rivers, beer and bread. The Black Forest, sadly not the gateau, is an iconic landmark in Germany known for being a hiker’s haven. The walking route for this is nearly 200,000 steps and spans from Pforzheim in the north to Waldshut in the south. To put the distance of this idyllic walk into perspective, you would have to walk from our sports centre to our science centre over 600 times!

Taking a quick pitstop from enjoying the scenery, Hefeweizen (German wheat beer) and bratwurst we are dropping in on another of our placement students, AJ who is a graduate student in early years education. AJ visited a bilingual school in Germany, chosen because of their ability to speak German and English, AJ was interested in experiencing how teaching and schools differ in Germany.

Continue reading

Tower to Tower

Staffordshire University provides plenty of opportunities to keep fit and up your step count. Great sports facilities and teams from football to ultimate frisbee, with even the senior management getting involved.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Liz Barnes and Pro Vice-Chancellor Ieuan Ellis plus Senior Lecturer in Sports Therapy Steve Bateman and a team of students joined Stoke City veterans Tony Pulis and Rory Delap doing the Tower to Tower challenge! That’s human-powered travel (cycle, row and walk) from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to Tower Bridge in London.  All in aid of the Donna Louise Hospice’s, a charity for terminally ill young people and their families. As the education partner the staff’s team also take on some of the medical support staff duties and at 348 miles a that’s the equivalent of 696, 000 steps or 174,000 steps a day!  all were kept busy as you can see in the pics.

As Pro Vice-Chancellor Leuan Ellis who was an international marathon runner, puts it “It is the boat that is probably the most challenging. Rowing – and not a direct route – across the Channel for 40 hours is going to take some real hard work.” personally its all the steps across England in the dark at the end of the challenge that would scare me.

The openings provided by Staffs enable the students to start up their own clubs and challenges and through links with Stoke City football club and local groups and charities like the Donna Louise Trust.

Blog written by Staffordshire University placement students: Adam Olivier  Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science;  Kaliya Rostron  Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science; Steven Lloyd-Jones Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biology

Be curious and be active

Right here on campus we have the Sir Stanley Matthews Sports Centre, Sir Stanley Matthews, a local born boy who went on to achieve great things in the world of football. With the World Cup tournament having already begun, we are sure there is more than few footy fans on campus today, head on over to our Sir Stanley Matthews Sports Centre to discover what it has to offer –  there is even some sporting activities for you to take part in! Whilst we’re on the topic of football, did you know that the average distance covered by a premier league player in a single game is 6.7 miles or 13,400 steps, can you beat this?

Today is all about you and exploring all that STEAM has to offer (that is Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths subjects).  Enjoy the events and activities at Big Bang, ask questions, be curious and be active!

Remember each one of you can help us reach our 10,000,000-step target, but it must be a collective effort. Let’s collect as many steps as possible to see how far across the globe we can make it. We want you to thoroughly enjoy your time here with us today and not only is today about getting involved, it is to be more active and to enjoy the benefits related to exercise, such as improved mental and physical wellbeing and reducing stress levels! You can walk, jog or even run, maybe your feeling more adventurous than this, perhaps you would like to pretend to be an aeroplane and fly round our campus, we say go for it!

Blog written by Staffordshire University placement students: Adam Olivier  Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science;  Kaliya Rostron  Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science; Steven Lloyd-Jones Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biology

Step 1: Stoke-on-Trent

Our journey begins right here at Staffs Uni in Stoke-On-Trent, known for its pottery, coal mining and steel works, but also a thrill seekers destination, as you may be aware it is home to one of the greatest theme parks in Europe, Alton Towers Resort. With exciting rollercoasters and woodland scenery, it draws in an average of two million guests per year! More impressive than this, our step goal today, once completed, will have seen us walk Alton Towers’ longest rollercoaster, Galactica, over 10,000 times! We will be posting other interesting facts and figures throughout the day like this one, we encourage you to follow us on Twitter (@StaffsLSE) to hear more of these, but to also get photos and updates on step goals as we progress.

As the steps add up today, we will be dropping in on some exciting places to discuss where our students have ventured off to with placement opportunities through Staffs. To begin meet Jaime-Lee Cunningham, final year Psychology student here at Staffs, who was given an excellent placement opportunity right here in the heart of the Students Union.

During this two-year period Jaime-Lee was not only elected as Vice President but became President of the Students Union. Like yourselves today, Jaime-Lee was experiencing her very own journey through Staffs, this placement gave Jamie-Lee the confidence and ability to thrive within the environment and to achieve to her highest ability, picking up essential skills along the way like time management and public speaking. As our starting point is Staffs, it seems the right moment as Jaime-Lee says herself in this short clip, that a huge thanks must go to all the people behind the scenes at Staffs Uni that make all the cogs go round smoothly. This enables our students to venture out on these incredible placements that we will be visiting on our journey today.

Blog written by Staffordshire University placement students: Adam Olivier  Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science;  Kaliya Rostron  Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science; Steven Lloyd-Jones Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biology


Welcome to Big Bang Global Step Challenge 2018

Welcome to the 2018 Big Bang Global Step Challenge at Staffs Uni! Here at Staffs we are proud to be taking you on a journey to far reaching parts of the globe to visit our students who have undertaken placements around the world, all of which is made possible through the tremendous outreach a place of Staffs stature has to offer. Our aim today is to reach towards 10,000,000 steps, this is our first step of the journey, and with your help we will travel all over the globe!

Take part as an individual or school group and enter our Global Step Challenge competition.  There will be prizes for participation rates for teams/school groups.

Collect your pedometer at registration point for West Midlands Big Bang or on campus at the Science Trailer on 19 June.  Or use you own phone/pedometer to measure your steps today.  Stay up-to-date with progress of the challenge here on our blog or on Twitter @StaffsLSE.