Plashet Schoolgirl Physicists Show Their Mettle

18 July 2018

Nine classes of year 8 girls at Plashet School in East Ham, London, tackled problems ranging from how to evaluate core samples taken on Mars ,to building a home-made robot arm and provide electrical energy in remote villages.

Plashet Schoolgirl Physicists Show Their Mettle

The workshops held at Plashet School for Girls on 6 July 2018 were very much hands-on – Power for Life brought along their prototype devices that can produce electricity sufficient to power mobile phones from low grade sources of heat, while the Institute for Construction Management encouraged students to recognise and evaluate real hazards.

High tech startup Axitech used a radio-controlled model car to demonstrate how to automatically detect an accident and transmit precise location and other critical details in real time to a first responder. In the event that accident victims are unable to respond, emergency contacts are notified, allowing them to connect to the closest emergency centre on their behalf.

Those who attended the Surrey Satellites workshop were enthralled at being able to control a large gyroscope, under the instruction of an engineer who designs systems for satellites.

Plashet Schoolgirl Physicists Workshop

Girls who took part in the University of Kent Workshop were invited by an expert in robotics to build their own working robotic arm from a set of everyday items with a goal of the arm being able to pick up a plastic cup. GSK, on the other hand, encouraged participants to develop their own type of toothpaste, find a brand name for it and market it.

The workshop organised by the Royal Air Force produced what the presenters described as some very viable helipad designs, while those who took part in the workshop on Mars geology got to eat the results of their experiments, outside the laboratory, which involved drilling into chocolate bars to simulate Mars rocks.

In the hall, Jeremy Sampson taught groups of students the basic principles of music, culminating in teams jointly producing tunes on his striking WOOFYT, (Wooden One-octave Organ For Young Technologists).

Keen and searching questions were asked in every workshop.

The day concluded with Andy Tate, Dianne Crann and Rizwana Shelley, representatives from the Institute of Physics, emphasising how physics is a key component to entering a wide range of careers and the different ways the Institute of Physics can help students.

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