In March staff and students at OSFC celebrated British Science Week with a programme of workshops, lectures and events to explore and inspire further interest in the field. Working in partnership with The University of Manchester, local science and education enterprise Kakou and a number of science industry leaders and speakers, OSFC crammed a mind tingling 400 hours of science learning into one single week.
Kathryn Parkinson, Head of Science at OSFC was thrilled with the efforts and enthusiasm shown by staff and pupils who took part. As the celebrations came to an end she said, “It’s been an incredible week of science here at OSFC and we’ve seen lots of young people enthusiastic about all of the subjects associated with science. The fantastic effort by our staff and students has been special and they have helped to make this the biggest ever week of science we’ve ever held.”
Thanking our partners Kathryn added, “The contribution from visiting speakers and representatives from both The University of Manchester and Kakou has been invaluable. Our students and pupils from across local secondary schools have been able to gain an insight into the options they have for a future in science related careers. As always it’s a warm privilege to see the return of some of our former students who have progressed onto PhD’s and other science related degree courses.”
Here’s a run through of the British Science Week activities held at OSFC in 2016:
On Friday 11 March AS level students kicked off the week by taking part in the British Physics Olympiad AS Challenge. The British Physics Olympiad (BPhO) aims to encourage the study of Physics and recognise excellence in young physicists through four annual Physics competitions. The competitions are designed to test understanding and problem solving skills and are open to able young physicists in school years 11-13 (GCSE to A2 or equivalent).
Participation in a British Physics Olympiad is a challenge for able students which allows them to have fun problem solving whilst testing their knowledge through open-ended and unstructured questions, skills vital at higher levels of study. Successful students gain a prestigious award with the possibility of being selected to represent Britain at the International Physics Olympiad.
On Monday 14 March, aspiring Science students received a lecture in alternative science career pathways from Dr Helen Jamison, the head of media at The Wellcome Trust, a charitable foundation dedicated to improving health.
On Tuesday 15 March, three teams of OSFC students put themselves in the balance to become the official selection to represent OSFC at this year’s TeenTech Awards. The awards are open to young people who showcase an innovative idea for using science that could make life easier, simpler or better. With only one entrant per college the best submission was voted by former OSFC students who have progressed onto study science a related degree at The University of Manchester.
On Wednesday 16 March, the Regional Science Centre at OSFC welcomed ?? Y9 pupils from local secondary schools to take part in a day of interactive and engaging science workshops. Pupils excelling in science at their schools were selected to attend and try out a number of more advanced scientific experiments. Activities included making ice cream from liquid nitrogen, creating bouncy balls, recording music through soundwaves, mixing chemicals to create colourful foam fountains, solving deadly mysteries with science and racing balloon hovercrafts. The workshops were led mostly by OSFC student ambassadors with staff support. We also welcomed PhD science students from The University of Manchester and the local social enterprise Kakou.
On Thursday 17 March, over 60 pupils from local secondary schools were invited to join OSFC students and hear from Dr Yvonne Peters who delivered a special lecture on the Introduction to Particle Physics.
Also on this day Sarah Fenton from the Nuffield Foundation visited to interview AS level students who have applied for a prestigious Nuffield Research Placement. These placements provide over 1,000 students each year with the opportunity to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. Competition will be high this year with a record number of OSFC students completing an application.
British Science Week is a ten-day programme of science, technology, engineering and maths events and activities across the UK for people of all ages. For more information please visit www.britishscienceweek.org
If you’re interested in science and would like to conduct experiments inside modern labs with high tech equipment in the Regional Science Centre at OSFC then apply here to study with us. To find out more about Science courses on offer visit www.osfc.ac.uk/courses/science/