STEM Student Blog – 11th November 2020
Dear Grove School Community,
We are a selected group of students who were asked to take part in the Imperial College, STEM Potential programme. Following on from this, we have decided to document our experiences. As a starting point, we thought we’d establish what this programme this. It’s a rare chance to be involved with national STEM Potential leaders from Shrewsbury School and Imperial College London. The aim of this programme is to widen access to university through supporting us pupils with academic potential and interest in STEM careers.
Our first event was virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions; it took place on 10th October, so the overall atmosphere was slightly altered for us, which was inevitably a learning curve. Our first interactive lecture was exploring ‘the discovery of gravitational waves’ which was led by Steve Adams (Oundle School). Through our devices, we were shown a mechanical model of a wave which helped us visualise some of the theoretical information that was given. ‘Exploring the Borean rainforest with 3D acoustic and machine learning’ was the next lecture which was presented by Becky Heath (Imperial College London). The talk was biography based and explained from a personal level how scientists track endangered species. Dory Polos (Oundle School) led a talk about ‘The path to academic research and what Zebrafish have taught me’ which conveyed the difference between white mice and zebrafish and how our genetic information is like those of the fish, which is highly beneficial for medicine uses. Lastly, the final lecture was ‘Tackling Alzheimer’s disease with metal drugs, sound and bubbles’ by Dr Tiffany Chan (University of Oxford) which showed the neurological effects of the disease and demonstrated the research into cures.
These fascinating lectures also led to the breakout sessions which were held. Our group of seven was split in two groups to meet mentors and other students like ourselves and get to know each other. This added another engaging factor to this event. David Wray, a Shrewsbury School staff member, made this whole event available to us; we had previously communicated with him but at that moment it was nice that we were able to introduce ourselves. Overall, this introduction to the programme was very beneficial and leaves us very intrigued as to what will come in the next session (14th November).
Written by Valeria Paslar, Georgie Ingham, Ellie Pankhurst, Kayla Eaton, Tabby Fish, Liam Neville and Richie Howells.
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