Reporter Competition

Three fantastic reports. Each captures the excitement of the day and that every aspect of the conference was enjoyed by the students.

Here are this year’s winners.

Kimberly Gilmour, Chairman, Organising Group
April 2012

Nailah Djeddi San MartinThe King Fahad Academy7First
Mariam El-achramThe King Fahad AcademySecond
Chioma NwagbaraCoulsdon College12Third

Nailah Djeddi San Martin, King Fahad Academy, Year 7

Science for Gold Report 

It all started when we got to the College of Pathologists. They gave us stickers, which said our school and that we were in the red group. We followed the guide upstairs to a room where the rest of the red group were. Then another man came to tell us the rules. Firstly, he asked us what was the sign for the fire exit. We answered and he told us that even though the picture was of a man running, we shouldn’t run because we might trip up. Then he started telling us that you didn’t necessarily have to go to university to become a scientist, you could just use what you learnt at school and college and do the exam straight away, like he had done. I think he started saying more things about science but I admit that unfortunately I started getting distracted with all the books, medals and trophies in the room to listen. My attention came back when everybody started standing up. We were heading for the Science in practice exhibition. This was my favourite part of the trip. 

The exhibition was AMAZING and SO interesting. It made we want to study science even more. There were different tables with different information and different things to do. The first table I went to was a table that was about feet. The lady gave me a piece of paper that had different shoe styles and I had to try and know which ones were good or bad for our feet. High heels, flip flops, ballerinas and pointy shoes were bad, but trainers, and other shoes were good for your feet. Then she gave me a paper that was about feet. It started with the outside, then it took off layers until it got to the bone. Just to comment, when I read it, it seemed that it was photocopied out of a book. But never mind, as long as it’s science. Then I went to a table that was about lungs and breathing. There was a woman who was asking my friend if she wanted to try out a test that she would do on patients who sleepwalk, or sleeptalk, and she also told us that once a person shouted so loud in their sleep that the neighbours called the police. She showed us how she would do the test, but she didn’t do it for real. On the same table, their was another woman that asked for my name, age, height, etc, and then she gave me this tube thing and I had to breathe normally into it, the when she shouted BLOW!!! (I had taken a deep breath beforehand) I had to breathe into it as much as I could without breathing back in again. I did this again and the results were better the second time. Then off I went to a table about nuclear energy. A woman attended me and started telling me about nuclear energy and what it used for etc. I went to several other tables and had lots of fun. 

Then we had to go downstairs to another room for the Battle of the Devices. The battle of the devices was this: there were six devices, they would be talked about and then we would vote on which one we liked the best. The devices were: stents, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), running blades for amputees, insulin pumps, DIDGET glucose monitoring and the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). After telling us about the devices, we had to vote on which device rocks the world. The stents and the DIDGET glucose monitoring came last, next came the running blades, then in third place the insulin pump, in second place the MRI and in first place the ICD. In celebration we all had to say the ICDs full name, which was quite funny. 

Then we had lunch. After that, the time had come. It was competition time. The schools in the red group sat down and first to present was my school, the King Fahad Academy. We showed everyone our Banana Project, and everyone clapped. Then came one of the four groups from a school called Le Sainte Union. They did a presentation about why is salt used in grit. Then came a college who had two groups that were both doing something about micro-organisms. Then came another three from Le Sainte Union, and we were done. 

Next we had to come back upstairs to another room for the Olympic Gold session. We watched a video about cyclists and what they do to go faster. Then we got a big piece of paper and started drawing a cyclist and a bike and labelling the different methods used. Then we got posted notes and had to write something new we had learned. Next we watched another video about an athlete who lived long ago. We had to get another posted note to write what we had learned. 

Then we had to go back down for the prize-giving. Back downstairs, we all went into a little room to wait. There was a TV that had a little corner at the top that was like a live video of what they were doing in the other room. There were different people talking but we couldn’t hear them!!! We all thought they were announcing the winner, and men and women kept coming in and out and checking the speakers, but they just wouldn’t work. Finally, one of our teachers went asking who had won, and a woman asked for Le Sainte Union, it turned out they had won!!! We headed out, but one of our peers got called back because he had won the raffle!!! He won a black bag. After that we headed back to school.

Mariam El-achram, The King Fahad Academy

Science for Gold Report 

Where to begin? I was honoured to have been selected from numerous students to attend the Science for Gold schools science conference which was being hosted in The Royal College of Pathologists. Getting there was just the beginning, leaving the school and getting there on time was another story. Unfortunately, I can only say transport for London had gotten worse over the years. But, being this fortunate to be picked for this event again was good, because that meant I knew how to get to the conference which saved my teacher time still having to type in the address on her GPS! OK, I will admit we were late and we were standing for 20 WHOLE minutes. 

We were given a welcome introduction by Don Henderson the founder of the event. He explained some of the house rules. We were told to leave to the Science in Practice session in which there were many workshops to do with radioactivity, podiatry, pharmacy, blood transfusion, microorganisms and many more. They were all very informative and interesting. I was very engaged with the workshop to do with bacteria and viruses even by washing your hands you may have bacteria lurking around somewhere (use a nail brush)! We used a blue UV lights that detects something fluorescent like bacteria and microorganisms. 

The workshops really helped me have a clearer vision and understanding on what I would like to do in the future. The workshop that was about pharmacy was extremely satisfying as I was talking to one of the representatives of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, we discussed many of the qualifications that are required for a pharmacist. I took great interest in it. 

I believe science is the heart to all mankind without science scientists wouldn’t have been able to find cures, medicines and how the world evolved over periods of times. Science is extraordinary thinking about what all those famous scientists like Sir Isaac Newton who discovered gravitational force (remember the apple falling on the head?) and the Universal Laws of Motion in science. Who would of ever forget one of the most world known legend Einstein who discovered the theory of relativity and the mass energy equivalence (e = mc2. E = mc2 means energy = mass multiplied by the speed of light squared). The point is without these phenomenal human beings the earth and life for human kind for that matter wouldn’t have been the best it can be today. 

Even during the conference The Battle of the Devices just proved to me and other fellow students how diverse science and technology really has made a difference in peoples lives like with those who have heart problems by using an Implantable cardiverter defibrillators (for simplicity of life ‘ICDs’) you can really get on with life as normal as anyone else. 

To wrap it up I had an amazing and informative day it just shows that science is gold and anything is possible if you just believe.

Chioma Nwagbara, Coulsdon College, Year 12

Science for Gold Conference 2012 

It was a wonderful day that I will not forget in a hurry. It was in the morning of Tuesday 20th March 2012 around 9:30am dressed in a white shirt and grey skirt, my classmates and I arrived at the Royal College of Pathologist. 

We were one of the first schools to arrive for the conference. At the entrance, we were given stickers on which our group and College name was written. We moved farther into the building where we were given a bag which contained a small bottle of water and a book which had the order of activities and timetable in it. We were directed to the Watson and Crick room on the first floor of the building. We sat there and waited for what felt like ages before some students from a particular school turned up. About the same time our teachers left us. We are going to get some coffee‚ they said. Another school turned up and then I started feeling weird. How can I learn the same thing with these kids? What am I doing in the same room with school children? I should be with college students! 

Later on we received a welcome speech in which we were told what we came for and how to conduct ourselves throughout the programme. Thank God the programme has started. The first session was the Olympic Gold. A lady introduced herself to us as being the one to take us for the first session. She was dressed in a top and tights and a skirt. It was a science conference and she is dressed like she was going to friend‚s house! She asked us to choose two video clips we would be interested to watch from four options. Everyone started talking at the same time even my own classmates. At last, we watched the first video clip Dolphins and Swimming; we were then asked to make a poster about what humans would do to swim at the same rate with the Dolphins. That is impossible! To make matters worse we were asked to split into groups and also mix up with other students. I sat still, till a lady approached me and assigned a seat to me. That was nice; I cannot remember the last time I was treated with such nice gesture. I sat down with the other students; some of my classmates came over as well. We all introduced ourselves although I felt reluctant, and we got to work. At the end we watched the second clip Ancient Skeleton‚ and this time we were asked to write down bones of the body that could grow according to the sports done. We also wrote down things we learnt from the session in a post it note. The beginning was good. How about the end? 

We left the Watson and Crick room to the ground floor for the Science in Practice‚. It was fascinating. I got to use the CPAR which is used by people with obstructive sleep apnoea to reduce snoring. I also got to do a respiration test and the results were normal. At the physiological section I conducted an ECG test with the help of the NHS practitioner. I collected some chocolates even from sections that I did learn from. They were kind enough to let me take some. 

It was time for lunch, my teachers, classmates and I went to the park. I had ice cream twice to cool my head for my presentation. At 1:20pm we went to the lower ground floor for the Battle of Devices. It was a competition without prizes to be won. We were lectured about stents, ICD (Implantable Cardioverter defibrillator), running blades, insulin pumps, Didget glucose monitor and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Each lecturer talked about the innovation, impact and quality of life of the devices. At the end of the whole lecture the winner was the MRI and the loser was the stents. It was amazing how these devices work and how they have helped save lives. The session was hilarious and interesting. What made me laugh the most was during the lecture about the running blades we were asked to stand on one leg. I couldn’t bear holding my laughter seeing students falling. I felt proud because I was able to stand without falling. 

Next, we went to the Virchow room and it was time for me to do my presentation. The first and second school presented and I felt kind of awkward. They were practically reading from the slides. I was convinced that I would win the presentation. I had virtually everything in my head. I did a presentation about the influence of microwave radiation on our health. After all the presentations Haribos and shiny little balls were thrown to us. I didn’t get anything because I had to struggle for it with other people. I wanted to act civilized and not act like a barbarian. Few moments‚ later prizes were given out and I got nothing although I was convinced I would. It was disappointing. Why did I not get anything! Everything is done. 

As the day drew to a close, I felt satisfied and inspired greatly. I was sure that Science is fun and the most creative in all human aspect. The end was also good. Thanks to all that helped organize the conference and for giving me the opportunity to attend.

Science for Gold

The 9th Annual Schools Science Conference took place on 20th March 2012

The Royal College of Pathologists

2 Carlton House Terrace
St James’s