US science superfan has Christmas wish granted with visit to YouTube hero

   
   
 Sir-Martyn-Poliakoff-and-Ajay445x124.-110
20 Dec 2018 09:56:08.653

An 8-year-old science fan from California had his Christmas wish come true when he met his science hero and YouTube star Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff.

Ajay Sawant and his family took a 12 hour detour en route from California to Mumbai to visit family in India especially to pay Ajay’s hero a visit on Monday at the School of Chemistry,home to the Periodic Table of Videos.

In the true spirit of the season Ajay and Sir Martyn exchanged gifts before getting involved in some of the experiments featured in the videos. Colleagues Dr Samantha Tang, Public Awareness Scientist in the School of Chemistry and Dr Debbie Kays, Associate Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, who are part of the Periodic Table of Videos team, joined Martyn to show Ajay how to make his very own glowstick and created impressive reactions using dry ice.

Click here for full story

Dream come true

Ajay’s mum Anjli said: “Meeting Sir Martyn is really a dream come true for Ajay. He has a voracious appetite for learning and has been devouring the videos - he worships Sir Martyn! Ajay can’t stop talking chemistry to anyone who will listen and surprises them with how much he has learned from the videos. When we asked him what was on his Christmas wish list, Ajay said he would love to visit and wish Sir Martyn a happy birthday!  We are so grateful and excited we could make this Christmas wish come true for him.”

Since its launch in 2008, the Periodic Table of Videos has attracted over 1.1 million subscribers and has chalked up more than 190 million views. The fun videos focus on each chemical element on the periodic table, as well as others covering science news and interesting molecules.For tens of thousands of fans world-wide Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff is the face of the Periodic Table. 

The brainchild of video journalist Brady Haran and fronted by unlikely internet sensation Nottingham’s Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff, members of the team have travelled the globe — including Everest basecamp and Sydney’s Bondi beach — to bring each of the elements to life.

Passion for science

Ajay has been interested in science from a young age, making a presentation on the life cycle of a star at the age of 5. It was there he started to learn about the elements and since then his passion for science and in particular the Periodic Table has grown and he is even planning to try to break the world record for reciting the Periodic Table elements in the fastest time!

Martyn said: “It was wonderful to meet Ajay and his family and to see such passion for Chemistry in someone so young – he is clearly a scientist in the making! 

Chemistry is by its very nature both fascinating and exciting and knowing that the videos which we are making are helping to inspire people across the world to find out more about this amazing subject gives us a real buzz and makes it all worthwhile.”

Ajay is not the first fan to drop in to visit the Periodic Table of Videos team — in 2012 10-year-old Edoardo Bandieri from Modena in Italy travelled to Nottingham to meet Sir Martyn and contributors from the Periodic Table of Video’s sister channels Sixty Symbols and Numberphile have also hosted visits from enthusiastic young followers. And in 2014 another US fan Adele Rouse from North Carolina paid the Periodic Videos team a visit.

— Ends —

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email pressoffice@nottingham.ac.uk or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

For up to the minute media alerts, follow us on Twitter

Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named both Sports and International University of the Year in the 2019 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More informationis available fromSir Martyn Poliakoff on 0115 951 3520, or martyn.poliakoff@nottingham.ac.uk
  Jane_60x60px

Jane Icke - Media Relations Manager (Faculty of Science)

Email: jane.icke@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
C Floor, Pope Building (Room C4)
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798
email: pressoffice@nottingham.ac.uk