Year 9 and 10 pupils from Airedale Academy took a trip to Sheffield in January to enjoy Science Live! at the City Hall. One of a series of events for GCSE Science students cross the UK, the day gave the students a chance to see and hear five of Britain’s top scientists, including human fertility expert Professor Lord Robert Winston, space scientist and lecturer Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Professor Mark Miodowink, an engineer and materials scientist. There was also the opportunity to gain top tips for exam success from an experienced Science examiner, as well as a number of sessions with leading speakers who talked about their area of expertise and the impacts it had made to recent scientific innovations.
Staff at Airedale hoped that the experience would expose pupils to the ‘real’ science behind their lessons and place their learning in a much wider context, as well as contributing to Science Live!’s own aim of generating greater enthusiasm for science amongst GCSE pupils.
Tracey Heptinstall, who accompanied the students on the trip, said, “This was an exciting opportunity for pupils to hear from scientists, many of whom they have seen on television. The scientists are carefully chosen for their ability to communicate with students of this age in a direct and exciting way. The pupils were particularly keen to hear Professor Winston as they his expertise linked with their recent studies around inheritance.”
Throughout all the talks the pupils were captivated by previously unseen images of space, materials and inside the human body and on the return journey to school pupils were still talking about the possibilities of space travel and the ability to cure future diseases.
Parents of the students were also thrilled with the opportunity that their young people had been given. “Thank you for taking them,” one parent said, “I wish I could have come! They have come back really inspired.”