Our Y10 and Y11 students had the privilege of hearing some of the country’s best known and engaging scientists talk about their work at the GCSE Science Live! event at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham.
All leaders in their field and publishers or broadcasters, the speakers showed that most of cutting edge research is based on the principles learnt at GCSE, in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students will have heard key words and scientific ideas, all used in thought-provoking and relevant contexts.
Mark Miodownik lucidly explained the problems of sustainability and recycling. Robert Winston showed some fascinating videos relating to fertilisation and embryo development. He was followed by Maggie Adering-Pocock ( a change in the programme), whose lecture was on the Moon’s origins, history and effect on life on Earth. Kate Lancaster’s talk on the prospects of fusion as a major energy source backed up the IGCSE Physics curriculum admirably. The final speaker, geneticist Steve Jones, gave fascinating examples of the complex link between nature and nurture.
The day also included a very useful session from a GCSE Principal Examiner, with many tips on how to improve examination performance, most of which will have been also applicable to other GCSE subjects.
Feedback from students was that the speakers put their science learning into interesting contexts and that the examination advice was very useful.