Science Experience Week 2015

Friday 14th August 2015

This summer Science Oxford held its first ever Science Experience Week, which proved to be a huge success! The aim of the week was to provide local year 10 students with an opportunity to learn about the huge variety of companies and careers available in STEM subject areas throughout Oxfordshire.

The week ran from the 29th of June to the 3rd of July and was attended by 14 students from four Oxfordshire schools. Throughout the week, the students visited nine companies working in a variety of STEM subject areas. Each visit included an introduction to the company and what they do, information regarding the kind of careers available within the company and a hands on activity or practical experiment.

The week started with a visit to Diamond Light Source, where the students learnt about the science behind the Diamond particle accelerator and how bending a beam of electrons, using magnets, will cause them to emit light 10 billion times brighter than the sun. This light can then be used to study a vast range of subject matters, from viruses to fossils.

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Wednesday morning saw a visit to the engineering firm Atkins. During the session the students were shown a detailed Lego model of Oxford which included rivers, significant historical buildings and key infrastructure. The students were given a limited number of brown Lego bricks (representing sand bags) and 20 minutes to decide which buildings should be protected from flooding. Once the time was up, the rivers were flooded and the students were scored depending on how many buildings they could protect.

science experience week

The week also included visits to MRC Harwell, Future Blends, Green Biologics, Toumaz, The Wellcome Trust and The University of Oxford Oncology Department.

Science Oxford received some really positive feedback from the students, schools and businesses involved in the project, with many of the students saying they would recommend the week to future year 10 pupils.

It makes me happy knowing that the Science Experience Week has helped these students to make decisions about what subjects to study after GCSE and has hopefully given them an insight in to just how fun and interesting STEM careers can be.

If you would like more information regarding the Science Experience Week, please email [email protected].

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