About the competition
Radio 4's weekly science show - Material World - wants to help you turn your ideas into real-life experiments.
What makes a good experiment?
Got a hunch about the way the world works? A pet theory to test out?
It's not just working scientists who have light bulb moments. Anyone, anywhere can have a brainwave that's worth investigating.
In 2010, gardening grandmother Ruth Brooks was crowned the winner of So You Want to Be a Scientist?
“One of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences of my life.” Ruth Brooks
Other finalists researched crowd density at music gigs, the psychology of Facebook and noctilucent clouds.
You can read about the range of entries we received in this BBC News article, "So you want to be a scientist?" from the programme's producer.
What happens next?
in 2012 the four finalists selected by the judges, from over 1,000 entries designed and carryied out their experiments:
- Dara Djavan Khoshdel, 25 from Bournemouth, wanted to find out if the price of art correlated to our emotional response to the work.
- Val Watham, 53 from Reading, is investigated whether horizontal or vertical stripes are more flattering to wear.
- William Rudling, 69 from Leeds, a caricaturist who thinks he can tell what people look like from hearing their voice.
- Izzy Thomlinson, 18 from Shropshire, wanted to know how the sounds that annoy us change with age.
The amateur scientists presented their results at Cheltenham Science Festival in 2012, when the judges choose Val Waltham as this year's winner.