Inspiring the Scientists of TomorrowJanet Burrows
Just before February half-term, 56 of our Year 10 GCSE Science students joined over 800 other students from around the region for the GCSE Science Live! event at York University.
This touring event is visiting 11 universities throughout the country to help, encourage and enthuse the potential scientists of the future. Each event consists of lectures with some of Britain’s top scientists, all working at the cutting edge of science and research – and all with a real ability to communicate their knowledge in a way that is both exciting and engaging.
Students attending the York day had the opportunity to listen to – Prof Robert Winston, best known for his work on human fertility; Prof Jim Al-Khalili, who has hosted numerous radio and TV programmes and won a Faraday prize for science communication; Dr Kate Lancaster, who is working with a team to see if nuclear fusion (not fission) could one day solve our energy problems; Prof Steve Jones, a leading research geneticist and huge fan of Darwin, and Dr Simon Singh, a particle physicist who has worked on the CERN project in Geneva as well as TV programmes Tomorrow’s World and Horizon. There was also the opportunity to get revision and exam tips and techniques.
Ella Stubbings, who attended the lecture given by Dr Simon Singh on the Big Bang theory, was the first in the audience to ask a question. The lecture was Ella’s personal highlight and so she wanted to know if there was any more evidence of the Big Bang Theory. She wrote afterwards of the trip, “The science live trip was a really fun and interesting experience for everyone involved, and I definitely feel as though we learnt a lot. Very few of us have ever been to a lecture before, so there was such a buzzing atmosphere, especially at the start. As it is specifically for GCSE students, all the lectures were delivered at our level and had jokes and interactive parts mixed in, making it really enjoyable. There were also two sections about exam techniques which many of my friends found very useful. There was definitely something for everyone!”
Pauline Eldrett, Head of Science at Malton School, was delighted at how attentive and interested the students were. She commented, “the GCSE Science Live! Trip has really helped inspire our students and raised their aspirations as to how the science they’re learning now can play a key role in their futures and lead them into some really exciting careers.”