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British Science Week at Prep

British Science Week is a fantastic opportunity to showcase STEM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,  which are becoming increasingly important in our ever changing world. STEM plays a vital role in our curriculum at Ipswich Prep and we were very fortunate to have a variety of inspirational speakers come into school and host talks with our pupils throughout the course of Science Week, covering a wide range of subjects and careers within the world of STEM. Here, we outline some of those talks that took place for British Science Week. 

Miss Drummond, Head of Science at Ipswich Prep

BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE

It was really interesting to explore building services engineering with Mrs Booth. In order to understand better, we thought about some of the school’s building systems like our heating and ventilation systems. Lots of us were able to recognise sustainable designs like wind turbines and solar panels. Mrs Booth also explained design tools used in building services engineering: AutoCAD, Dialux Lighting Calculation and Thermal Modelling as well as an insight into some of the subjects that might be beneficial for working in the world of building service engineering such as Maths, Physics and Computer Studies.

WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS

Dr Tukamanov who is employed at BT gave a fascinating insight into the world of wireless communications. We considered the wireless communications we use in everyday life like mobile phones and games, and also in the wider world like robotics and space exploration. It was really interesting to explore the science of a mobile phone and what happens inside a wireless network. The session ended with Dr Tukamanov talking us through some of the key attributes you might need to have a career in engineering. We were really pleased to learn that the pupils were already aware of many of these as they are covered within our school learning dispositions: curiosity – keep asking why, what if?; enthusiasm – keep learning, positivity; resilience – have another go if things don’t work out; cooperation and collaboration within team work.

CARING FOR ANIMALS

We were really excited to welcome Dr Nightingale who talked to us about her life as a vet. She cares for a range of animals from dogs and cats to cows and alpacas – and was so impressed that our Reception class were able to identify the alpaca in a selection of photos – the first school she has visited to do so! She explained why it is important to be a responsible pet owner – because we are the voice for the animals in our care and must communicate on their behalf. We really enjoyed listening to some veterinary stories like that of Bonnie – a dog who had swallowed a 5p piece and required an operation to remove it. We were able to take a look at the x-ray as well as use Dr Nightingale’s stethoscope to listen to our heartbeats.

OUR BRAINS ARE AMAZING

Did you know that the brain, on average, weighs about 2% of an individual’s body weight? During Dr Sharma’s talk we learnt a number of fascinating facts about the brain and our nervous system. It was really interesting to hear that the brain is made up of around 70% water and the remaining 30% is made up of fat, protein, a little bit of sugar and also salt. Dr Sharma explained the purpose of the brain and identified various parts of it like the frontal lobe and cerebellum. We also had an insight into the spinal cord and how this part of our body is connected to the brain.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

We identified the connection between physics and electric vehicles with Mr Earl from EO Charging during his presentation. We looked at an example of a circuit and the various important components that are required to make a circuit work. Mr Earl then explained about his role of designing circuits to charge electric vehicles. We had the opportunity to explore the inside of the electric vehicle charger from the power sources to the communication and control components.

THE APP PROCESS

Thank you to Mr Joseph for talking to us about a career in app development – it was really exciting to hear from someone who was involved in the advertising of the iPhone. Mr Joseph then went on to create his own company called ‘The App Business’, in which he built apps for banks, cars, supermarkets and more. Mr Joseph talked us through the scientific method and how this correlates to the creation of an app: idea, prediction, experiment and learning. Finally, we thought about what we might need to be passionate about in order to become a successful app developer, and those things included experimentation, teamwork and technology.

MAKING MEDICINES

It’s thanks to the pharmaceutical industry that life expectancy has increased dramatically. Mrs Reach, employed by Novo Nordisk, explained to us the work of pharmaceuticals and how she works with doctors to educate them on the medicines and the diseases or disorders they treat. The primary focus of Mrs Reach’s work is metabolism, obesity, type 2 diabetes and chronic disease and we were able to learn more about the subjects she studied at school to help her in this field of work before she went on to study Biochemistry and Oncology at university.

Did you know:

  • The technology used in Formula 1 racing can be used to track people with heart conditions
  • Forensic psychologists assess psychological problems associated with criminal behavior
  • STEM processes are also used in customer service operations such as making predictions, finding correlations and producing statistical analytics

Thanks to Mrs Boulton, Mrs Evans and Mr Markt for explaining these ideas to us.

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