Grays Convent schoolgirls experience the leading edge of science and engineering

26 July 2019

Five classes of year 8 girls at Grays Convent High School for Girls took part in science and engineering workshops.

  • High tech startup Axitech demonstrated 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. They also showed how to light up a fluorescent tube by holding one end near a high voltage Tesla coil, emitting some most impressive sparks.
  • The Institute for Construction Management encouraged students to recognise and evaluate real hazards, particularly in the workplace.
  • A theoretical physicist aimed to teach students how, in quantum physics, two opposite outcomes can exist at the same time, until they are investigated and the universe is forced to make a choice.
  • The very successful workshop organised by the Royal Air Force aimed to lead students to come up with their own, viable helipad designs.
  • An astronomer encouraged students to investigate the secrets of the universe, covering subjects as diverse as the planets, Einstein's famous E=mc2 equation and how gravity really works.

Keen and searching questions were asked in every workshop.

The day concluded with Andy Tate, Dianne Crann and Rizwana Shelley, representatives from the London and South East branch of the Institute of Physics, emphasizing how physics is a vital key to entering a wide range of careers and how the Institute of Physics can help students in different ways.

Prizes were given for the best helipad design and certificates handed out to mark the day.

Feedback was very positive. When asked what they had learned on the feedback forms, responses included:

  • "Probability, the three states of matter, structural integrity and more about the stars."
  • "The RAF train you to do many things such as being a chef and being able to cook for royalty."
  • "About the different career choices I have available."
  • "Not much, e=mc2, matter."
  • "Different ways of making things - how to be much safer - about our general existence."
  • "About nebulas, Einstein, comets, the big bang, e=mc2, space, energy, matter etc."
  • "How to work with teammates building a helipad and different interesting facts about the universe."
  • "That matter and spacetime = gravity."
  • "That physics is quite easy to understand when you get it."
  • "You can be anything you want to be."

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