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26 March - Science and Higher Education Fair


In order to commemorate 50 years at our current site in Orpington, the St Olave’s Science and Higher Education Fair took place on Wednesday 21st March. The Great Hall was filled by our own Year 12 students and over 90 students from other local schools. A line up of distinguished visiting speakers (including two Old Olavians) provided fascinating on a wide variety of topics encompassing different disciplines within Science. Throughout the day opportunities were given to use a VR headset to simulate walking on the surface of Mars, or to hold Antarctic ice that froze over 1000 years ago. Amazingly, the ice fizzed as air trapped before the time of the Norman Conquest was finally free to return to the atmosphere.
The titles of the talks and their presenters in chronological order were as follows:

Emerging Technologies for Emerging Infectious Diseases
Professor Julian Ma, Institute for Infection and Immunity, St George’s Hospital Medical School

Current and Future Aero Engines
Professor Mehdi Vahdati, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London

Frozen In Time
Dr Robert Mulvaney OBE, Ice Dynamics and Paleoclimate Team, British Antarctic Survey

Large Area Electronics, Enabling the Internet of Things
Professor Andrew Flewitt, Electrical Engineering Division, University of Cambridge

Exploring Mars with Robots - the Curiosity and ExoMars Rovers
Professor Sanjeev Gupta, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London

Beyond the Higgs - What Next for the Large Hadron Collider?
Dr Harry Cliff, Cambridge LHCb Group, University of Cambridge

The audience were given the opportunity to ask questions after each talk, and the presenters were impressed by the quality of the questions.

During breaks from the talks in the Great Hall, two classrooms hosted a Higher Education fair. Representatives from the Universities of Glasgow, Southampton, Bristol, Cambridge and Warwick, were joined by University College London and Kings College London to present the students with a choice of locations and courses to consider. The rooms were packed full, and hundreds of prospectuses quickly snapped up. The representatives were very complimentary about the knowledge of the students.

The objective of the day was to educate the students, give them a flavour of cutting edge research, the real life application of Science and to enable them to find out more about applying to University and studying in Higher Education. Feedback from students, teachers, speakers and exhibitors was very positive, making the whole day a great experience for all. (Special thanks to Abhay Gupta who used his photographic skills to capture the event.)

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