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    Spotlight on Science

    This term has been packed full of inspiring careers talks and STEM days for years 7-9. It has given all students the opportunity to think about Science outside of their lessons and how it truly relates to the world we are living in.

    Astronaut Nicole Stott visits the year 7’s for a Science and careers talk

    This year the year 7’s had an amazing careers talk by the first female astronaut to paint in Space, Nicole Stott. Having spent 104 days in space and nearly three weeks on the Aquarius undersea habitat, Nicole has seen Earth’s bigger picture and provided a unique perspective of our planet.

    Nicole Stott has completed two spaceflights and has lived and worked on both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS). After 28 years with NASA, Stott is now a full-time artist and SciArt education advocate. Through her artwork, she uniquely shares her impressions of our planet from the orbital and undersea perspectives.

    Nicole gave such an inspirational overview about her life, her passion for science, her career route and how grateful and emotional she felt when she was chosen to be an astronaut after an extremely tough selection process. She spoke about how life as an astronaut has inspired her art work. The year 7 students really enjoyed the talk and were so excited to have the opportunity to talk Nicole Stott and also ask her many questions about her life in Space. Many year 7’s fed back saying that it has made them really want to pursue a career in STEM, and some students want to walk in her footsteps. Other comments from the year 7 students include:

    “I enjoyed learning about the things you do in space and learning about a science related journey from a woman in science as it was really inspiring”

    “I think that the aspect that I enjoyed the most was that we were talking to someone who had been to space, and actually had a firsthand experience of life in the International Space Station”

    “I enjoyed learning about the things you do in space and learning about a science related journey from a woman in science as it was really inspiring”

    “I loved hearing the different stories and how she was inspired to paint the earth”

    “I learnt that you can really do anything if you put your mind to it”


    Y8 Francis Crick Science spectacular show
    On Monday the 1 of July all year 8 students attended the annual Science show at the Francis Crick Institute in Kings Cross. They watched an interactive show presented by Stefan Gates about the journey of food through our digestive system filled with lots of exciting experiments and student and teacher participation. The presenter, Stefan Gates has written and presented 18 extraordinary BBC TV shows about food adventures, covering science, nutrition, maths, bizarre foods, history and society.

    After the show students gave feedback about what they learnt and enjoyed the most. Comments from the year 8 students include:

    “I enjoyed how the people running the show would often ask for volunteers as that made us feel more involved and was more fun. Also, I enjoyed how the reasoning and findings of all the experiments were told in a way in which everyone could understand”

    “I enjoyed the bits where the teachers were volunteered because it was very funny to see Dr Butterworth eating fake snot!”

    “I learnt about how our digestive systems and farts work and what bodily processes we go through for them to happen”

    “It was a great trip, I would definitely want us to go on a trip to see another show!”


    Y9 STEM day

    During the last week of June, year 9 students had their STEM day. They spent the day discovering the joys of Science and technology. There were three key activities which involved working on their problem solving and teamwork skills. The first activity involved planning, designing and racing balloon powered cars. The second activity was learning about light and lasers and the third activity was solving a periodic table Murder at the Manor mystery.

    After the STEM day was over, students gave feedback about what they learnt and enjoyed the most. Comments from the year 9 students include:

    “The activity I enjoyed the most was the light and lasers activity because it was really interesting to see how light actually moved in straight lines, which was proved in water. I also liked learning about how eyes interpret light and that our eyes sometimes deceive us!”

    “I enjoyed the activity called Murder at the Manor because it was very fun and interesting. For example, I learnt and remembered properties of elements on the periodic table while going around the room and interrogating different characters.”

    “I really enjoyed the balloon car making. It was super fun yet challenging and it allowed you and your friends to work together on an interesting project whilst still thinking about STEM. The racing at the end was also entertaining!”

    “I learnt that there are many jobs involving STEAM, which don't even exist yet and that there are a wide variety. Also I learnt that this area is actually very broad because it ranges from Art, Maths and Science.”

    “I learned more about applying physics and maths to real life which I particularly enjoyed because it helped me to understand mathematical and physical concepts better and also how important STEM is. So, this helped me because I would like to get a STEM career and I liked how the teachers gave us many career options to choose from STEM related jobs e.g, fashion designer, architect or engineer. They also told us certain skills we need in order to get a good job, for example to get a good job you need to be good at using excel or show good leadership skills in a group”

    In all activities students were really engaged and enthusiastic to take part. In talks and demonstrations, they listened to outside speakers and asked some thoughtful and out of this world questions. We really have ended this term in Science with a bang and look forward to organising more amazing speakers, STEM days and shows next year.

    M Alvarado
    Science Dept