The partnership is designed to raise performance and long-term aspiration in the sciences and Maths amongst talented local state school year 10 students from across Shropshire, who may stay in the scheme until the end of their year 13. Interest and take up for the programme has been strong, not least from schools in the Marches Academy Trust whose support is greatly valued.
David Wray, Head of Science Outreach has been busy putting the course content together with Heads of Faculty, both in liaison with Imperial and in collaboration with Oundle School who have been successfully running a similar scheme.
Our offering will be a mix of the virtual whilst COVID restrictions pertain and hopefully later in the year we will have sessions here on site as well as in London. There will be masterclasses related to the curriculum, a lecture programme and support with revision and university applications.
We will also host Imperial College London outreach here and help facilitate a Space Science Day. The programme will run throughout the academic year.
David Wray comments:
“Our first virtual offering shows off a specific, quite niche, application of each of the (very broad) science categories, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students are encouraged to help contribute to the monitoring of Antarctic penguin populations online and engage with short talks by professors at the University of Oxford in relation to their fields of research (food industry standardisation and weather-monitoring on Mars).
“We hope this will enthuse students about what a range of possibilities a scientific education could lead to and get them thinking about what they would like to be able to do. We also aim to provide ideas for GCSE-related practical work that may be completed at home, including calculation of the magnitude of the Earth’s gravity and extraction of DNA from fruit, in the next few weeks.”
Stuart Cowper, Head of Partnership and Community Engagement said:
“We are really grateful to Gordon Montgomery and Steve Adams (former Head of Science here) from Oundle for their support in getting this programme up and running, as well as to the team from Imperial, led by Annalisa Alexander.
“Support for the course from schools locally has been enthusiastic and we look forward to getting started. We are putting together an exciting and challenging programme which will really help to promote STEM subjects in the county.”