In March 'Y9 Research Club' was founded, offering students a chance to come and research or design experiments to test any questions they have about the world. The teams have been hard at work since; questions being tested so far include 'does getting up at 5am make you more productive?', 'do certain sounds and music genres have a positive or negative impact on blood pressure and heart rate', 'do different types of snacks affect athletic performance' and 'Pollution in our school - can we identify why some rooms have higher pollution levels than others and would a plant in each room decrease the pollution levels we are exposed to and therefore improve our health?'. The students have enjoyed the opportunity to seek data for claims they have heard or read, and also to use equipment not encountered in science lessons. Furthermore, many are aiming to gain a Bronze CREST Award in recognition of their work.
On Wednesday 24 April twenty members of the research team were invited to attend the 'Science4Sustainability' conference at the University of Westminster. The pollution team - Annabel, Nuria, Martha, Khadija and Lydia - presented their findings so far to a panel of judges from across a range of scientific fields and, although they missed out on the overall award (to a team building a pollution monitoring drone from scratch!) they impressed with their detail, presentation skills and enthusiasm for the subject.
The rest of the day consisted of a range of workshops and information fairs bringing together over 100 scientists in the biomedical, sustainability and health industries and allowing the students to learn about cancer drug trials, bioplastics used in medical treatments and 'what your poo says about you'. It was a very jam packed day, with competitions and challenges to be won at many stands, and the students learnt some interesting things, describing it as 'strange but unexpected' and 'good to see what science can really do'.
Watch this space for videos of the event and more details on what the students have discovered in their projects.
In other STEM News, the video of our Y12 'Star Seekers' Team presenting at the Institute for Research in Schools Anniversary Event is now live on YouTube. Check them out at this link.