Celebrating Science

This week we have been celebrating British Science Week 2019 with a whole host of activities in the Science department.  We have welcomed external speakers, including a St Mary’s alumna who is studying Physics at university, the charity and YPTE (Young People’s Trust for the Environment), run science club sessions, challenges and a British Science Association competition.

St Mary’s Old Girl Talks to Pupils about studying Physics at University

On Tuesday we were joined by former student Bethan Mewett who is in her second year studying Physics at Swansea University. She talked about her university experience so far and how St Mary’s prepared her for graduate studies. She spoke passionately about her love of Physics and how she was inspired early on in school by her Physics teacher who posed unusual and sometimes unanswerable questions about the universe. It was clear that Bethan strongly believes there are nowhere near enough women in STEM subjects, but most specifically Physics and so is participating in outreach like this to change perceptions. It was great to see her group photos with the other women on her course and to show that the stereotypes for those who study Physics should be resigned to history. She also gave very helpful and relevant advice to the St Mary’s girls about their upcoming exams, encouraging them to take time out regularly to refresh themselves and take care of their mental health. It was super to have this alumna back in school as a role model to the younger years.

Mr Lawrence
Head of Science

UVI Visit Bristol University for DNA Molecular Workshop

The UVI girls enjoyed an excellent practical workshop day at Bristol University working in a university laboratory with professional teacher-lecturers, using specialist technical tools as well as revising aspects of the genetics topic in a novel way. The techniques learnt during the day are all directly relevant to the A level course, and the practical work constitutes part of the ‘practical endorsement’ which is a compulsory part of the qualification. Our girls enjoyed working with other visiting students from King’s Bruton and Clayesmore, and the experience of working as science undergraduates in large, mixed groups.

Ms Flower
Biology Teacher

Save our Planet!

Yesterday we were very fortunate to secure a visit from Peter Littlewood, Director of the Young People’s Trust for the Environment (YPTE). Peter gave a lunchtime talk to around 45 students and staff about the environmental issues facing our planet. He spoke about some of the possible solutions and championed sustainable ‘living’ as opposed to sustainable ‘development’. The girls (and myself!) left the talk feeling informed and inspired to make a difference now, and in the future.

Mrs Le Poidevin
Science Teacher

Lesson on Dissection!

This week, LIII to LV students took part in a number of dissection sessions. We compared two different ventilation systems: fish gills and mammalian lungs, comparing structure with function. It was lovely to see older girls working with and helping the younger girls, with some sister pairs as well.  Science curiosity in action!

Ms Flower
Biology Teacher